PHILADELPHIA – Temple University has extended the contract of head football coach Matt Rhule for four years, which will keep him as the leader of the Owls’ through the 2021 season.
"Matt Rhule is one of the best young coaches in college football and we are excited that he will be at the helm of Temple Football through at least 2021," Director of Athletics Dr. Patrick Kraft said. "Matt has the program heading in the right direction, especially as we enter a very promising season on the gridiron, and we are confident that he is the right person to take the program to even greater heights."
Rhule was hired as the Owls’ 26th head coach on Dec. 17, 2012, succeeding Steve Addazio and inheriting a team that went 4-7 in 2012. After a rough start in his first year as head coach, Rhule directed his team to a 2-4 record down the stretch in 2013 holding a lead in the fourth quarter of every game in the season’s final six contests. That improvement coincided with the development of true freshman quarterback P.J. Walker.
In 2014, Rhule led his troops to a bowl-eligible 6-6 record despite having just five seniors make major contributions. The Owls opened with a 37-7 victory at Vanderbilt giving Temple its first win against an SEC team in over 75 years.
Temple also posted a win against #21/19 East Carolina at Lincoln Financial Field marking just the third Owls’ victory over a ranked opponent and first since 1998. Early on the offense was strong highlighted by a 59-0 conquest over Delaware State which was the largest margin of victory by Temple in over 60 years. Throughout the season, the defense shined, finishing fourth in the nation allowing just 17.5 points-per-game.
“I am thrilled to sign this extension and to know that I will continue to lead the program into the future,” said Rhule. “I'm proud of our student athletes and all that they do and I look forward to continuing to lead and teach them for years to come. Temple has been my family's home since 2006 and I am honored to be able to serve the university as its football coach.”
Rhule, 40, first came to Temple in 2006 as an assistant under Al Golden and held a myriad of roles coaching the defensive line, tight ends, quarterbacks, and offensive coordinator, as well as recruiting coordinator. He was a Temple assistant for six seasons, including two bowl teams and three bowl eligible clubs. He left the Owls in 2012 to become the assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants before returning to North Broad to take the helm as the Owls head coach.
Rhule began his coaching career at Albright College in 1998 and also coached at the University of Buffalo (1999-2000), UCLA (2001), Western Carolina (2002-05) before coming to Temple.