Rhule’s staff begins to take shape

Photo credit: Associated Press

Baylor’s new head football coach Matt Rhule is wasting little time getting to work.

Rhule made the announcement on Friday that he had filled five spots on his football staff for the 2017 season.

Sticking with what worked during his four years at Temple, including 10 win seasons the last two years, Rhule has brought four members of his staff to Waco.

Two of those members worked as key members of Rhule’s defensive staff while with the Owls. Francis Brown, who spent six years at Temple, including all four under Rhule, coached the Owls’ defensive backs, with special emphasis on the cornerbacks. The other is Mike Siravo, who coached the linebackers at Temple.

Rhule has also brought Sean Padden and Evan Cooper Jr. with him to Baylor. Padden will become Baylor’s director of football operations, a position extremely similar to what he held at Temple. Cooper served as Rhule’s director of player personnel.

Lastly, Rhule has dug into the Texas coaching web by bringing in David Wetzel. Wetzel, the former Bear receiver, returns to Baylor after being the head football coach of Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio for the past 13 seasons.

Despite, brining in five new members for his staff, Rhule has only given a job title and responsibilities to Padden. Other titles for his staff will be announced at a later time.

Rhule has also not ruled out keeping members of the current Baylor football staff that served under former head coach Art Briles.

All of these announcements came just three days after he was hired to become the next head football coach at Baylor, replacing Briles and Jim Grobe, who served as acting head coach for the 2015 season.

“I am truly honored and humbled to join the Baylor Family, and I can’t thank President Garland and Mack Rhoades enough for this incredible opportunity,” Rhule said at the podium, after being introduced on Wednesday. “Baylor is a tremendous institution with a history of football success and I know the passion that so many have for the Bears will help bring the community together to reach even greater heights. I am excited to get started.”

Rhule, enters after four years at Temple University, where he led the Owls to a 28-23 record, but were named American Athletic Conference East champions two years in a row, including a 34-10 win over Navy in the AAC championship last week.

It is not just the success that Rhule that brought to Temple on the football field that is drawing praise from various media outlets across the country. It is his character and his influence on the culture of a football program.

“I think Baylor couldn’t have found a better coach and mentor to lead its program than Matt Rhule. He’s the epitome of what you want in a college football coach and he passionately cares about his players. He changed the culture at Temple, a perennial doormat,” said Kevin Neghandi, an ESPN Sportscenter anchor and Temple alum. “He’s committed to representing the right things about a university, and Baylor hired an authentic person ready to shape young men and to deliver results in the community.”

There is no current timetable for Rhule to fill the rest of his staff, but with his quick trigger thus far, keep an eye out for more news in the near future.

Rhule will make his coaching debut for Baylor on September 2 against Liberty University.