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Dr. Saturday

Two NFL assistants land head coaching jobs at Temple and Western Michigan

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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New Temple coach Matt Rhule (USA Today Sports Images)

College programs have a few outlets for finding a new head coach, and one is mining the staffs of NFL teams. Two college programs turned to NFL assistants to fill their openings.

Temple hired New York Giants assistant offensive line coach Matt Rhule and Western Michigan has hired Tampa Bay Buccaneers receivers coach P.J. Fleck to lead their programs.

Even though both coaches come from the NFL assistant ranks, their paths to the jobs have been different.

For Rhule, he is defined more as a Temple assistant than his time in the NFL. Rhule was an Owls assistant for six years, and a popular candidate when Steve Addazio was hired in 2010. For Temple, this was just bringing back a coach who had a connection to the school and spent just nine months away before returning. All indications are Rhule loves the program and the job, so he could end up being a great fit for the Owls.

Fleck, meanwhile, has no direct connection to Western Michigan. He knows the MAC pretty well, having played at Northern Illinois and coached there as a receivers coach from 2007-09. He coached two seasons at Rutgers before moving to Tampa Bay with its head coach Greg Schiano this season. Fleck is just 32, but his energy might work well with the Broncos.

Both men have good college experience, and their short time at the highest level won't hurt either. Both programs hope they picked the right candidates for the job.

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