FRISCO, Texas — Baylor coach Matt Rhule is keeping it all in the family. His father, Dennis Rhule, will be involved with the Bears football program this season.
“He’ll just be in a volunteer sort of role,” Matt Rhule said. “He was with me all of last season [at Temple].”
Dennis Rhule was a minister and high school football coach when Matt was growing up. Now he is retired and will move to Waco, Texas, to join his son’s staff. He will stick with the team for six months, then depart on a mission trip to Rwanda for six months.
He will not work in an official capacity, but he will be around the players and practices.
Matt Rhule specifically mentioned a players lounge that was built just feet from his office. Dennis Rhule will spend plenty of time there.
“My father’s a good man,” Matt Rhule said. “He likes to play pingpong with the kids and just hang out. We really like to build a sense of community in the program. We like our kids to be around us … the players also love when my dad is around because I don’t yell as much. I’m a little bit nicer.”
What Baylor fans will like to hear is that Dennis Rhule might be a good-luck charm. Matt said when he was around, the team played much better.
“He was around us the year we went 6-6 and beat Vanderbilt, our first SEC win,” Matt Rhule said. “He was around us the next year and we beat Penn State and then left.
“My players were like, hey, maybe you want to keep him around. Then he stuck around last year and we won the whole thing [American Athletic Conference title].”