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Matt Rhule, Nebraska Cornhuskers Head Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
November 30, 2022 8:15 pm

Matt Rhule, Nebraska Cornhuskers Head Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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November 30, 2022 8:15 pm

Matt Rhule joined Zach to discuss his excitement in taking over Nebraska and his vision for the program. 

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What makes your skin crawl, no matter how absurd? I want to know.

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I'm just so weirded out about the texture and how they can just move around and flop. And then I go to the experts to learn how to overcome them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm in a rush to making money.

I'm not in a rush to hurting people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio.

Season two, the Dixie Mafia, available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. We continue this Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. Now joining us is new head football coach at Nebraska.

And that, of course, is Matt Ruhl. Coach, first off, congratulations to your family. How you been? I'm doing well, man. I'm doing really well. It's been a whirlwind couple of days, but it's it's great to it's great to get started.

Great to talk to you. So you've been all over the place, Temple, Baylor. We know Carolina and now you're going to Lincoln, Nebraska. When I introduce you, Matt Ruhl, the new head football coach of Nebraska Cornhuskers. Just what do you feel and what goes through your mind? Well, I'm beyond excited. You know, when you when you walk through this building every day and you feel the tradition and the and the and the. The excellence that's been here, it it has an effect on you. And then just, you know, begin to meet the team and the excitement of, hey, you know, we have a chance to start to build a team and get Nebraska back to where we want it to be.

I'm excited for the challenge. I'm proud to be here when you got let go from the Carolina Panthers. I heard a lot of rumors about Matt Ruhl's coaching future. But initially, the first thing I heard was that you weren't going to get back into the game right away.

And even Trev kind of said that after the press conference that everything he heard from the start when he said he wanted Matt Ruhl was Matt was going to take a year off. What changed once you start talking to Nebraska? Now you're sitting in front of us as the head coach. You know, I figured out quickly, Zach, that I was going to coach again, that I really missed the offseason program. I really missed recruiting. I really missed spring ball.

I really missed being on the sideline. So I said, well, why am I going to delay? You know, whatever I go, I have to build something special. Why would I delay it? But I was going to wait for the right thing.

I wasn't going to try to fit a square peg into a round hole. The very first time I talked to Trev Alberts, based on the questions he asked me, I was like, man, this guy gets it. And the more I talked to him, the more I realized that Nebraska, I think, is going to be a fit because they know what I believe in. You know, really, at the end of the day, I'm the coach from Temple. You know, I want I want a gritty, tough football team, a tough football program.

I want guys who love to work and I want to help them off the field, get great education to be the men that they want to be and on the field win and go to the National Football League. And that's Nebraska. That's its history.

And so it just felt like the right fit and eventually worked out. You know how important it is getting a feel of the university. But when one of these searches go on, you kind of got to do it in an incognito mode. And that's very tough to do in our social media life with all the media members following you and everything like that. And sometimes you take a job and you can't go experience the school before you take it.

Every job is different. But this one, since you were out of the game, I heard you say in your press conference you kind of snuck into town. What were the details now since it's official that you're the Nebraska coach of Matt Rule sneaking into town?

Yeah, you know, Julie and I just hopped on a little private jet, flew up here and and Trev Alvers' wife picked us up and kind of drove us around town. We spent some time talking to Trev and his wife and seeing what Lincoln was all about. And the good thing was there was a game going on. So now Trev was at the game.

We had a chance to talk to him afterwards. So everybody, everybody that was in town was probably at the game or working to get ready for the game. So we were able to sneak around, see the town, see the facilities and just left saying to ourselves, we didn't realize how nice Lincoln was. We didn't realize how big it was.

We didn't realize how many things were here. And, you know, a major key for us was where do we want to where do we want to raise our kids? And so we thought, hey, our kids will be happy here. We'll be happy here. We can recruit to this place. And the commitment to football, the fan base, the resources are out of this world.

If people followed you in college, they know. And you even said in this interview, you have a tough football team and you try to dominate at the line of scrimmage. But for the Nebraska fans that didn't see at Temple, didn't really see a lot of you at Baylor, expand on that a little bit when you get into the fall, after all the hard work in the offseason, what Nebraska fans can really expect come September. Yeah, you know, we want we want to be the most physical team, every team, every game that we play. And, you know, we're a hardworking group. We're going to be a tough group. We want to compete.

You know, when you watch us play, I don't want you to know if we're up by 20 or down by 20. You know, I want us we play to one standard. And, you know, we have to get we have to get to that. You know, we have to we have to be able to run the football and create explosive plays through the running game in the passing game. We want to be excellent situationally and we want to play great defensive special teams. So our recipe has been to go find fast kids, big, strong kids that love football, teach them the game, teach them our system. It's one of the reasons why Zach so many guys have played so long in the NFL after playing for us is we don't just teach them our system.

We try to teach them the game and we try to have systems that develop them for the next level. So we want to see guys play well here, win championships, but then also go on and have excellent careers afterwards. You've always had the unique ability to find the guy that was overlooked and someone that wasn't properly rated and not only know that they're going to be good, but then develop them like I'll never forget when I went to one of those cold practices in the middle of winter, coming out of a fraternity house, probably a little hungover for being real. But you invited me down to practice and you told me, watch Hassan Redick, Hassan Redick is going to be great. And then the next two years you saw him develop and eventually become a first round pick.

And he was a walk on at Temple. How do you continue to develop these guys that are overlooked and may not have the most stars attached to their name? Yeah, you know, we just try to find guys with traits, you know, guys who are who are, you know, have the right height, weight, speed, who have a unique characteristic and then and then teach them the technique and teach them the game. You know, so much of, you know, the stars and recruiting, which is all great, happens when guys are freshmen or sophomores.

And maybe, you know, hey, I'm a late bloomer. Maybe, hey, I'm a track kid. And we try to take those guys and and then and then our system of development is, you know, we're going to compete every day in the weight room, compete in conditioning, compete in the materials, as you saw, and compete in spring football. And even throughout the season, you know, we believe in going good on good. You know, iron sharpens iron. And if you want to become a great pro, you've got to pay the price in college.

And, you know, guys who love football, it's not really paying a price. They're just getting better every day. Matt Rule here with us. What did you learn from your time, the almost three years in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers? You know, I learned a lot. I mean, I learned a lot.

I learned X's and O's in football. I learned a lot about myself. You know, just just how much, you know, you find out a lot about yourself when, you know, you're under a lot of pressure and when there's a lot of adversity and when people are, you know, when people are really heavily criticizing you and you can either go into a shell or you can, you know, you can stay strong. And so for me, that was those are the things that were that I was most proud of and that the team always stayed with me that, you know, that I wasn't always perfect, but I never cracked. And so I learned a lot about what leadership looks like.

You know, anyone can lead on a sunny day, you know, who can lead in the rain. And, you know, even to the very last minute that I was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, you know, those players, they had my back and supported me. And that meant a lot. And so as I come here, I'm like, you know what? I have a plan. I'm resolute in that plan. You know, when I walked out of that meeting room after the dress of the team, after being fired, Zach, I said to myself, you know, wherever I go next, I'm going to do an elite job.

So, you know, that's those are words. I have to go do an elite job now. This has to mean that this is the most motivated that you've ever been probably taking a new job because you're at Temple. The whole the whole team wanted you to be the next head coach. Then you leave Temple. You had success. You go to Bailey, have success. Then you go to Carolina.

And unfortunately, you get shown the door. Does that mean this is the most motivated now that you've ever been in your coaching career? You know, I don't know. Motivate. I mean, I hate to say that I wasn't motivated.

Sure. But but but but I would just say. But that fire still burns.

Oh, no doubt. This is probably the most confident. I mean, it's like I feel like I said it in the press conference. I feel like a piece of steel that was like, you know, put in the fire, man. Like, you know, like like any any any lack of confidence, any mental weakness, all that.

Like it was all burned away from me, man. Like it doesn't mean I'm humble. I'm always trying to learn. I'm going to trust my assistants. But I tell you what, I I know how much my staff and I are going to try to pour into the lives of these young people that are here. And so I know how much we're going to try to win a championship for Nebraska. I know now how hard we're going to work. So I'm confident.

But I'm also I'm also ready for a tremendous challenge and I'm ready to work harder than I ever have. Matt Ruhle, one of our affiliates is WFNZ in Charlotte. I just whenever you get fired or you take a new job, you don't always get to address those fans. Just what do you want to say to Panthers fans? Oh, I just I just hope that Panthers fans get the coach that they deserve and the team that they deserve. And I hope they win the championship.

You know, it's it's you know, it's been a long time for them and they've come close, but they haven't been able to have won it. You know, I went there feeling that sense of, hey, I want to I want to bring this to the city of Charlotte. I want to bring this to the Carolinas. And, you know, it didn't work out, you know, and I hate that part of it. You know, my family's still in Charlotte.

I consider Charlotte a key part of my life. But you know what? I wish them the absolute best. They deserve it.

The fans deserve it. And I love those players. And I think that's a team, Zach, that that has a chance to win the NFC South moving forward.

There's a lot of pieces. There's a lot of good players, young players that are three and one right now in the NFC South. They're probably a play away from being four and oh, so they'll be good for a long time.

You know, I hope Scott Federer's given every opportunity to hire a great coach and that they win. You know, in the NFL, you either had the quarterback or you don't. I'm sure you got the question so many times. You see the articles, Matt Rule. Why did they trade up to go get Justin Herbert with the Lions? Why didn't they draft Justin Fields or or Mack Jones? Just like, how do you kind of reflect on that when people write articles and they speculate on why you didn't take those guys?

Yeah, you know, I think hopefully when people look back on my time, they'll say like, you know what? He never he never he never threw anyone under the bus. He never made an excuse. You know, no decision was made at the Carolina Panthers when I was there that was made by me unilaterally. I didn't pick I didn't make a draft pick.

I didn't make one draft pick. You know, I had a lot of input. I had a lot of feeling. Some things were said early on. And so a lot of a lot of criticism came my way. And I never, you know, I'm just going to I'm going to I'm going to be old someday and say, you know what? I never I never took a shot at anybody.

So when articles come out, you know, they're saying Matt did this, Matt did that. You know what I've done? I never wanted to be a distraction to this year's team because I signed up to coach this team all year.

And it didn't work out. I'm in a great place right now. But I'm never, ever going to respond to some negative article about me or some negative story about me, because that could distract Frankie Lou and J.C. Horn and the guys that I promised I'd give my best to for this whole season. So, you know, I think we build a pretty good team in a lot of areas.

I feel like, you know, maybe next year if they make one or two key moves, some great things would happen. But there was never a time when we had a huge deal on the table or something. And I said, no, no, we're not doing it. That's not the way the organization was run. The organization, every decision was made by the general manager, the owner and the head coach. And I bore the brunt of that and I'm happy to do it because I loved our players and I wanted our players to always be able to go out. And, you know, if people want to say, hey, Matt made these decisions, if that helps other people, then I get it. Because, you know what, that's what a leader does. A leader takes responsibility when things don't go wrong. I was happy to be the leader there. I'm not anymore. I'm the leader here now. And so I have to have great vision moving forward.

Now, getting back to Nebraska, the new head football coach in Nebraska, Matt Rule here with us. This is a different game, but I think it provides even more opportunities now. And I still don't know what you can do, what you can't do with NIL. It's the most confusing thing in the world. I know you always had your eyes on college football scouting and all that stuff and following the relationships you made at Temple and Baylor.

But how do you kind of attack this animal on the fly when you hear the transfer portal and how easy it is to transfer now and then also name, image and likeness? Yeah. You know, I got fired so early that I've been able to kind of strike it as I go.

And everyone else is telling me my friends in college are like, hey, we don't understand everything about it yet because it's an ever changing target. I think it's great that young people, if they're not happy where they are, can go somewhere else. They have the right to be happy. I think it's great that if you're a good player, you know, you can make money off of the way that you play. You know, Bryce Young should be in a commercial if they want them to be in one.

So I have, you know, philosophically, I have no issue with these things. You know, to me, it's about how best to management manage it, how best to get a great roster, but also how also have a great locker room. And so we're going to be involved in all of it. But at the end of the day, still the key to me is always do players have a good experience?

Do they feel like they're getting the most out of you as a coach? And do they have a chance to win? So we're going to utilize those things. But we're also going to try to build a really good culture that gives guys a chance to win. I know you're focused on what you could individually control at Nebraska, and we know how much of a force the Big Ten can be. We see that USC and UCLA are joining. You don't know how many more schools are going to be joining. You don't know if this is going to shift from a power five to a power two, a power three. We've talked about this for months. Is that tough to take a job when you don't know what the conference is necessarily going to look like five years down the road or so?

Well, I think it's one of the reasons why this job was so attractive, because I know this. I don't know what's going to happen in college football, but I know the Big Ten is going to be a power player. And so as the college football playoff expands, I wanted to be in one of the conferences where I knew, hey, we have a chance to compete at any point. And I think moving forward as the playoff, if playoff games are held at home and weather is involved and all those different things, I'm excited about where we're positioned late in the year.

So I know this. The University of Nebraska historically facility wise, fan base wise, alignment leadership, no matter what conference we're in, we should be competitive in that conference to win the conference and have a chance to go on to the playoffs. We're not there right now, but we should be in time. So I'm excited to see what happens. But I know there's the Big Ten will be strong.

Wrap it up with Matt Rule. A few more questions for the Nebraska head football coach. When it comes to staff, what can you tell us about staffing? We see a bunch of rumors, a lot of guys that I'm very familiar with. Who's going to be joining you that you can tell us right now?

Yeah, you know, I bought a bunch of guys that have been with me for a long time, you know, who kind of know the process and the brand. And some of them are some of the younger guys that have kind of really grown and coaching and I'm proud of them. So, you know, Evan Cooper, you know, here's going to work with us with our defensive backs. Tremendous, tremendous evaluator and recruiter Terrence Knighton, you know, pot roast. He's going to coach the defensive line.

Excited for him. You know, on offense, Marcus Satterfield, you know, coming fresh off of huge, huge, huge offensive output against Tennessee and beating Clemson, made the decision to leave a great South Carolina program and come with us and and run the offense for us. So Ed Foley, you know, who's who's been one of the premier special teams coordinator. So having those guys join me, E.J.

Barthel, you know, great northeast recruiter. Nebraska's always had great New Jersey ties. And so having E.J.

is so key to me. And then, you know, we're still talking to some of the guys on the Nebraska staff. There's great coaches here.

And so hopefully we can, you know, just continue to add to those staffs, add to that staff over the coming couple of days. Is Phil Snow going to be joining you? Because that's been your guy for so many years. I know.

I know. And, you know, I'm so proud of Phil. You know, Phil, Phil, Phil came to a defense that really had not many players left over. We struggled through the first year in the NFL. You know, we had a top two, the number two defense in the league last year.

He built this defense. Then, you know, unfortunately, he was fired with me. I'm trying to convince him to put the golf clubs down and come join me here in Nebraska. So stay tuned.

You know, he'll probably have some people in the NFL that are trying to trying to get him to come with him. As well. And so I love the man. He's one of the best football coaches I've ever been around. And he's a big reason why we've had success.

Two more for you. Every Nebraska fan will absolutely destroy me if I don't ask you this question. Mickey Joseph, where does it stand on that with the job that he did? A lot of people want to see him stay in Lincoln. Yeah, Mickey. Mickey's a tremendous coach. These players care about him.

You know, we're him and I are talking back and forth, you know, just in terms of is it a fit? So, you know, we'll probably have some clarity here in the next couple days, but I respect so much what he did. You know, just watching him. That team could have, you know, fallen apart this year.

Yeah. And he and the leaders on this team, you know, and then that great win over Iowa at the end of the year. A lot of respect for him. So you guys will have to just stay tuned and we'll see what happens. Last thing I'll ask you, Nebraska football coach Matt Rule, let's say I'm a recruit.

You're in my living room. How do you sell me to kind of join Nebraska and be a Cornhusker for the next four years? Well, I just you know, I would just say this is active if you want to get an elite education, if you want to be pushed in every aspect of your life to be the best that you can be as a man, as a student. And then if you want to win championships and go play in the National Football League, nobody does it better than the University of Nebraska. Nobody does it better than our staff. We've we've taken all kinds of players from all kinds of places and turned them into, you know, great, great, great NFL players. You know, any team, if you're talented enough, can get you to the NFL. What I'm proud about for the guys that have gone through our process is, you know what, they stay in the NFL. The coaches call me and say, man, I tell you what, these guys are these guys are such pros. And so if you want to maximize yourself as a student, as a man and as a football player, both in college and then as a pro, this is where you need to be. You need to come to be in Nebraska corners. He's head football coach in Nebraska. So with that, once again, congratulations to you, Julie, Brian and your two daughters.

Really happy for your family and good luck the rest of the way in building this again. Thank you, my friend. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm in a rush to making money.

I'm not in a rush to hurt people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio.

Season two, the Dixie Mafia available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. So my biggest fear is there's going to be snakes in the toilet. We're all afraid of that one strange thing. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new short 10 minute podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. We unpack where these fears come from.

A rat climbed into my toilet. And learn how to manage them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Throughout the 60s and 70s, cops hunted down key figures of the Dixie Mafia, including its enigmatic ringleader, Kirksey Nix. I'm in a rush to making money.

I'm not in a rush to hurt people. Fifteen years into Kirksey's life sentence, the Dixie Mafia was practically folklore, but that would soon change. I'm Jed Lipinski. This is Gone South, a documentary podcast from C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio. Season two, the Dixie Mafia available now on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. If you love to travel, you love cool experiences. I think you're going to love Viator. If you haven't heard, Viator is the world's leading travel experience marketplace. They've got everything from simple tours to extreme adventures, all the cool and interesting stuff in between as well.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-30 22:44:50 / 2022-11-30 22:55:48 / 11

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