Matt Rhule agrees to 8-year deal to become Nebraska coach


Nebraska officially has its new football coach.

The Cornhuskers (4-8), who fired Scott Frost on Sept. 11 after a 1-2 start, announced Saturday that they have signed former Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule to an eight-year contract.

The 47-year-old Rhule was dismissed by Carolina in October after guiding the Panthers to an 11-27 record over two-plus seasons. He is enjoying a large buyout from the NFL franchise, which pays him $40 million over the next four years. His teams were plagued by poor quarterback play and placed no better than 18th in scoring offense or defense under his watch.

Prior to the Panthers, Rhule directed two notable reclamation projects at the college level. He led Temple to a 47-43 mark over four seasons, including two bowl games, before turning around Baylor in a three-year run that included an 11-3 season and Sugar Bowl appearance in 2019.

At Nebraska, Rhule replaces Mickey Joseph, who was elevated to interim head coach after Frost was fired. The Huskers have gone 3-6 under Joseph. This marks the sixth consecutive season the proud program has finished under .500. 

The ultimate call for Rhule, of course, is to elevate Nebraska back into Power 5 contention. The five-time national champion is one of eight FBS schools with at least 900 wins. But while Bo Pelini recently won at least nine games in all seven of his seasons in Lincoln (2008-14), the Cornhuskers last claimed a conference title in 1999. They own just one division crown since moving to the Big Ten in 2011. 

Nebraska has sold out every home game since 1962.

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