20181221_spt_matt_rhule_jl1 (copy)

Baylor’s Matt Rhule will remain with the Bears after the New York Jets reportedly showed interest in him for their head coaching position.

Matt Rhule will return for his third season at Baylor as the New York Jets chose former Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase to lead their NFL team.

Baylor fans could breathe a sigh of relief after some tense hours Wednesday as the Jets made their final decision among a pool of candidates that also reportedly included former Green Packers coach Mike McCarthy and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

Nobody was more relieved than Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades, who hired Rhule from Temple University in December 2016. Rhule has a special affection for the Jets as he grew up living in New York City and was a fan of the team.

“We are thrilled Matt will continue to lead our young men and football program,” Rhoades said. “Matt, the staff and our student-athletes have done a tremendous job building a foundation, moving the program forward and positioning it for more success in the future both on and off the field.”

After finishing 1-11 in his debut season at Baylor in 2017, Rhule led the Bears to a 7-6 finish in 2018, capped by a 45-38 win over Vanderbilt in the Texas Bowl.

Rhule was unavailable for comment Wednesday night. According to media reports from New York, Rhule and the Jets couldn’t agree on members of the coaching staff that he would bring to the job.

The Jets’ position opened after Todd Bowles was fired on Dec. 30 after compiling a 24-40 record in four seasons. Gase was fired by the Dolphins on Dec. 31 after going 23-25 in three seasons, but he’s known for his development of quarterbacks and is expected to groom Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold, who is coming off a promising rookie season.

Though Rhule had far less NFL experience than most of the Jets other candidates, he’s well respected by NFL teams for his organizational skills and his development of talent. They’ve also seen his ability to build programs at Temple and Baylor.

Before coming to Baylor, Rhule took a Temple team that finished 2-10 in his first season as head coach in 2013 to 6-6 the next year and then to a pair of 10-win seasons.

Now Rhule and his staff will continue finishing their 2019 recruiting class as the Feb. 6 national signing date approaches. Baylor signed 19 players during the early period in December.

Don't Miss...