According to Chris Balas of TheWolverine.com, Michigan has Rhule pegged as one of their top contingency plans if their current program leader in Jim Harbaugh makes a return to the NFL. Harbaugh is reportedly flying in for an in-person interview with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday.
“Sources have also confirmed that Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule is, indeed, on Michigan A.D. Warde Manuel’s wish list to replace Harbaugh should the Wolverines make an external hire,” Balas writes. “Rhule is coming off a pair of five-win seasons at Carolina, but he had great success at Temple, including a pair of 10-win seasons. He led Baylor to an 11-win season his third year, but finished the 2019 season with losses to Oklahoma and Georgia.”
While this may very well be the case, Panthers owner David Tepper doesn’t seem ready to give up on his favorite former short-order cook quite yet. After all, he’s still around—here on Feb. 2—following a second straight five-win campaign that ended in an embarrassing seven-game losing streak.
Plus, Rhule is three-fourths of the way through his latest hiring process. Carolina now has a new offensive coordinator in Ben McAdoo, a new special teams coordinator in Chris Tabor and a new offensive line coach in James Campen—with only the defensive line coaching vacancy now remaining.
So, even though there might be mutual interest, the safe bet would be on Tepper giving his guy a vote of confidence when his staff is completely in place for 2022. If not . . . Go Blue?