Carolina Panthers: Six college coaches the team should consider

Baylor University head coach Matt Rhule (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Baylor University head coach Matt Rhule (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
2 of 7
Baylor head coach Matt Rhule
Baylor University head coach Matt Rhule (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

Matt Rhule

Easily the most sought-after college coach thus far has been Baylor’s Matt Rhule. Rhule has spent the past three seasons in Waco, revamping a humiliated program, and nearly leading them to the College Football Playoff this past season. Prior to his time with the Bears, Rhule similarly turned around a brutal program at Temple. His rapid success at each of the two respective schools has been key in his candidacy, although it remains to be seen whether or not he is willing to leave Baylor.

If the Panthers can find a way to convince Rhule to leave, he could be perhaps the best hire of the offseason. His career 47-43 record as head coach doesn’t stand out by any means; however, it’s the turnarounds that make Rhule such an intriguing candidate. When he took over at Baylor prior to the 2017 campaign, the Bears were under heavy scrutiny from the NCAA, and had been operating under an interim coach for an entire year. In his first season, Baylor won just one game. A year later, Rhule led the school to a 7-6 record an a bowl victory. In 2019, he was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year, posted an 11-2 record, and was an overtime loss away from making the College Football Playoff.

Based on his experience turning programs around in the past, the Panthers could be an easy fix for Rhule. On defense, Carolina will return Luke Kuechly, Shaq Thompson, and Kawann Short, and will have an opportunity to re-sign several impact players on that side of the ball. On offense, Christian McCaffrey has emerged as the best running back in the NFL, while DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel have shown plenty of promise at receiver. Without a doubt the biggest question mark on the Panthers offense is the future of Cam Newton. When healthy, he’s a top-10 quarterback in the league, something that is obviously good for the team. With all that being said, the Panthers have plenty of talent to be a competitive football team next season, all they need is the right head coach. Matt Rhule could very well be that guy.