Thursday, December 18, 2014

Temple hire: Is it Matt Rhule?

The Temple football coaching search is coming to an end.

Temple hire: Is it Matt Rhule?

Temple University offensive coordinator Matt Rhule, right, could be the next head coach for the Owls.  (David Maialetti/Staff File Photo)
Temple University offensive coordinator Matt Rhule, right, could be the next head coach for the Owls. (David Maialetti/Staff File Photo)

The Temple football coaching search is coming to an end.

One of the finalists, Miami defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio, has reportedly pulled out Friday.  The other finalist was former Temple co-offensive coordinator Matt Rhule.

It is unclear if Rhule has been formally offered the job at this time. What is clear is he is the guy Temple wants for the position that was vacated on Dec. 4 when Steve Addazio left for Boston College.
And Temple will hold a press conference Monday to announce his hiring if the negiotations go as planned.

Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said Wednesday that a head coaching announcement will be made early next week. If Rhule takes the job, as expected, it makes sense that it doesn’t happen today or tomorrow because he is the assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants. New York  plays the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday.

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Rhule was the co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach at Temple before joining the Giants in March. He had various coaching positions during his six seasons as an Owls assistant, five of which he served under Al Golden.

 Rhule interviewed for Temple's top job in 2010 when Addazio won the coaching position vacated by Golden, who left for Miami.

The former Penn State linebacker said that coaching the Owls remains his dream job, and his wife, Julie, still works at the university.

Several Temple football players, including the top 2013 recruit, urged the hiring of Rhule to replace Addazio.

Rhule is "definitely somebody we would stay with," said Shawn Brown, the father of Williamstown High School linebacker Buddy Brown, the headliner of Temple's 2013 recruiting class. "We kind of remember [Rhule] because we went to a camp when he was there. He was a decent guy. We definitely know who he is, so there's definitely a little familiarity with him."

Sources have confirmed a CBSSports.com report Friday that D’Onofrio took his name out of consideration. He is the only candidate who has publicly taken his out of consideration.

Like Rhule, D’Onofrio coached at Temple from 2006 to ’10 under Golden.  D'Onofrio was the Owls' defensive coordinator. He became Miami's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator when Golden took the Hurricanes coaching job. D'Onofrio reportedly turned down a request to interview for the Temple job after Golden left.

Also interviewing for the job were Eagles defensive coordinator and Temple alumnus Todd Bowles, Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater, Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, former Florida International coach Mario Cristobal, and Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton, according to sources.

About this blog
Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004. He took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering the Temple basketball and football for the previous three years. Pompey also previously covered the Penn and Drexel men’s basketball team and Villanova football team after initially focusing on high school sports.

Pompey is a native Philadelphian and a University of Pittsburgh graduate. Follow him on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers or reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com. Reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com.

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