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Rhule on college football rumors: 'I have one of the greatest jobs you can have'

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule denied having any interest in going back to coaching college football.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After LSU separated from their head coach Ed Orgeron, the cast of usual suspects were thrown out as his potential replacement, including Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule.

Rhule is often on the candidate list for NCAA coaching openings. His name was also thrown around to possibly coach USC or, if James Franklin leaves his coaching spot at Penn State for the USC gig, then it would be a natural fit for Rhule since he played linebacker for the Nittany Lions. 

Rhule coached at Temple University in Pennsylvania and led that team to a 28-23 record. After his success in the AAC, he moved on to the Big XII to lead the Baylor Bears to a 19-20 record. The Panthers hired Rhule in 2020, and he signed a seven-year, $60 million contract. He's led the Panthers to an 8-15 record thus far.

He's on a four-game losing streak with the Panthers, so it's natural people are speculating whether he's "all-in" for the NFL with such big-name college programs up for grabs.

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But when asked Friday about the rumors, he shut it down rather quickly.

"I have one of the greatest jobs you can have," Rhule told reporters. "I left an unbelievable job at Baylor with a long-term contract and great people and a great place to come here."

Rhule emphasized that he came to the Panthers because he wanted to build a great program at the professional level. He admitted he "went through a tough first year" as head coach but he said he expected that. 

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He conceded this season has been "back and forth," and that the team is not quite where he wants them to be yet, but he's staying committed to building the Panthers' program.

"You don't get to say that you like to build and then get upset that you didn't inherit something," Rhule explained. "We're building something here right now. Can't wait to get the job done."

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