At long last (less than a day) after reports emerged that he had interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts for their head job, Baylor Head Coach Matt Rhule broke his silence on Twitter this afternoon with back-to-back tweets that had Baylor fans waiting in antici———pation.
Great team meeting today - these guys are WORKING and you can tell they #TrustTheProcess! #EarnIt— Matt Rhule (@CoachMattRhule) January 11, 2018
Oh and... pic.twitter.com/iLYO14vDGN— Matt Rhule (@CoachMattRhule) January 11, 2018
That’s a hell of a way to make a re-entrance.
The latter tweet above raised immediate questions about who the mysterious new Major Key Alert might be, questions that I think were almost immediately answered: Evan Cooper. Just a few minutes later, Baylor announced that Cooper, who had been the Director of Player Personnel since his arrival with Rhule, will step into the newly created 10th assistant role for the Bears. Here’s the announcement.
.@EvanCooper2 has been elevated to assistant coach. #SicEm— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) January 11, 2018
: https://t.co/CVch5iPXv1 pic.twitter.com/gMPdDu7xYn
Coop’s elevation to the coaching ranks gives the Bears another proven recruiter on the road each year, keeps a key component of the staff in the fold (because I’m betting he had offers to go a few places this offseason), and leaves one spot left open by the departure of WR coach Bob Bicknell to the NFL. As far as I can tell, Baylor hasn’t assigned a specific role to Cooper yet, meaning he is a sort of Minister Without Portfolio. We’ll just have to watch where he slots in.
Going back to the first tweet— there had been rumors that Baylor would have a team meeting this afternoon, likely to address yesterday’s reports. That meeting appears to have gone well enough for Rhule to feel comfortable clearing the air somewhat now. These tweets appear to be timed with Mack Rhoades’s appearance on ESPN 1660 in Waco, which you should listen to when you get a chance.