Here’s a bombshell nobody expected to drop on a Wednesday evening; according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, who covers college football, Baylor Head Coach Matt Rhule interviewed this week for the head-coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts. Here’s his tweet:
SOURCES: Baylor coach Matt Rhule interviewed for the Indianapolis Colts head coaching vacancy earlier this week. Rhule, who completed his first season with the Bears in November, spent the 2012 season as the New York Giants offensive line coach. He is... https://t.co/5w6H7o0aqJ— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 10, 2018
Rhule, of course, has only been at Baylor one year in which the Bears went 1-11.
Saying this news has shocked members of Baylor Nation would be putting it mildly. The reactions have run the gamut from extreme anger at what some see as duplicity from Rhule to understanding given that it’s the NFL. I fall in the latter camp based on what we know so far (as I’ve said on Twitter), and it appears that I am in the minority. Most seem to believe that this will hurt the Bears in recruiting, regardless, as opposing coaches key in on the idea that Rhule will bolt for the NFL at the earliest opportunity, and there’s probably some truth in that. We can agree there. We can also agree that this would be an extremely bad deal for Baylor given that the hiring season is mostly over. It would also bring us square into the same limelight as Arizona with people calling for their signees to be released. None of that would be good in any way.
Let me stress that this is just a report at this time. We don’t know anything for sure, and I have yet to see anybody but Rittenberg report this information. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true, and we have to assume that Rittenberg would follow ESPN’s protocol for reporting something like this, but it’s not confirmed by any means. All of this could be much ado about nothing.
But if it’s true, I’m not upset about it, and it’s not because I want Rhule gone. The bottom line for me is that I can’t deny someone else the chance to chase their dream. Rhule is a former NFL coach; I think it’s been obvious from day one that I’ve known of him that he’d probably like to get back there some day. And if a team calls with the opportunity to interview—just interview—I would expect him to take that chance. There’s no guarantee it would ever come around again, and maybe he says or does something in that interview that gives him the opportunity of a lifetime. I just can’t fault him for that.
I understand being frustrated with this news, particularly if you believe, as I do, that Coach Rhule can get the job done here. I also understand that the people most upset about this are probably upset because they love Baylor. All of us that are Baylor fans, do. At this point, all I can ask is that you withhold righteous judgment until we have more information, which we will obviously bring to you as soon as we get it.