Now we play the waiting game.
Matt Rhule’s tenure on the Panthers hasn’t gone according to plan for two seasons. Back-to-back five-win campaigns and no apparent growth have raised questions about Rhule’s job status entering 2022, but if the dominoes start falling, Rhule may not even be in Carolina to worry about next season. season.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS SportsRhule might have his sights set on a return to the college ranks, but it could be a waiting game: If Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh were to return to the NFL (as has long been rumored), then Rhule would be interested in the Wolverines Head Coach Gig.
La Canfora reports that Rhule would be “at the top of the list” of coaches who may consider the job, citing his tenuous position with the Panthers as a big reason. Rhule has been linked to college jobs for the past four months, but remains in Carolina.
Interestingly, La Canfora also reports that “several NFL head coaches” would be interested in opening Michigan, but Rhule is the only one named in the report.
It’s unclear when, if ever, Harbaugh will leave Ann Arbor to return to the NFL, but his name has been associated with several head coaching vacancies, including the Raiders and Dolphins.
Rhule has been criticized for the Panthers’ performance and also for their confusing personnel decisions. The Panthers dropped their respected young offensive coordinator Joe Brady midway through the 2021 season — a move some saw as Rhule scapegoating Brady for bad offense — and replaced him this week with former Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo.
Rhule also had his eyes on Penn State, reportedly before James Franklin signed an extension to remain coach of the Nittany Lions.
College jobs can wait, but for now, Rhule remains the norm in Carolina.