Matt Rhule introduces himself to Husker Nation: 'I want to build a team that's tough'

Nov. 28, 2022, 5:30 p.m. ·

Nebraska Head Coach speaks to the media, fans and stakeholders during his introductory press conference on Monday, Nov 28, 2022.
Nebraska Head Coach speaks to the media, fans and stakeholders during his introductory press conference on Monday, Nov 28, 2022. (Photo by Gavin Felix, Nebraska Public Media)

Nebraska Athletics introduced newly hired football coach Matt Rhule on Monday, following the announcement of his hiring on Saturday.

Matt Rhule and Athletic Director, Trev Alberts, said hello to Husker Nation for the first time on Monday. Nebraska’s marching band, cheerleaders, students, and other university stakeholders attended the celebration inside the football practice facility in Lincoln.

Rhule told the crowd he’s ready to get to work.

“We can absolutely get the University of Nebraska and University of Nebraska football exactly where it's supposed to be,” Rhule said. “It will be hard. It may take time, but it will be done.”

It’s been a journey from Waco, Texas to Philadelphia for Nebraska’s new head coach. Rhule led Baylor University to the Big 12 Championship Game and an 11-3 record in 2019. Prior to his stop at Baylor, Rhule became the head coach of Temple University in 2013 – his first head coaching gig. He led Temple to 10-4 records in back-to-back seasons from 2015 to 2016.

The Pennsylvania Native was promoted to the NFL following that magical season at Baylor. He was the head coach for the Carolina Panthers for three seasons. Rhule was fired this season due to his 11-27 record.

After his time in Carolina was up, Rhule said he thought through numerous options. The new Husker coach said he considered taking a year off from coaching or joining the broadcasting world.

Rhule said this was the right time, place, and people for him to stay in coaching at UNL.

“We want to win conference championships. We want to win national championships, but guys, I'm a day-by-day guy,” Rhule said. “I'm a process guy. I'm a ‘what's next’ person. And I can just tell you that I want to build a team that's tough.”

Ultimately, his family decided this was a great opportunity for him.

AD Trev Alberts said during the press conference that Rhule is a leader with integrity and someone who is detail-oriented.

“I want you to know that candidate 1A for me and the University of Nebraska was always Matt Rhule from the beginning,” Alberts said. “And so we're really glad that we ended at that point.”

The Husker coaching job opened on September 11. It was one day after a shocking loss to Georgia Southern when former head coach Scott Frost was shown the door. Frost coached four-plus seasons and finished with a 16-31 record. Mickey Joseph took over as interim head coach the same day. Alberts said during the announcement in September that Joseph would have a chance to grow into the full-time head coach.

Rhule hasn’t stated whether interim coach Mickey Joseph will be retained on his coaching staff, or made any official announcements on other assistant staff positions.

Rhule’s contract is set to pay him $72 million over eight years, according to NFL Network. This would make him the eighth-highest paid head coach in the country following the departure of Stanford's David Shaw, per NBC sports.