Baylor's Head Coach Details What Makes Angelo Football Clinic so Special
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Third-year Baylor University head football coach Matt Rhule knows what it takes to win and is in the process of restoring the Baylor football program to its peak.
Prior to taking over at Baylor in 2016 from interim coach Jim Grobe, who inherited the role following the firing of longtime head coach Art Briles, Rhule took a middle-of-the-pack Temple Owls teams to consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship games. They won the program’s first conference title in 49 years in 2016.
Rhule compiled 28-23 record while leading the Owls.
After a dismal 1-11 season in 2017, Rhule and the Bears experienced the best turnaround in the country by going 7-6 in 2018 and winning the Texas Bowl 45-38 over the Vanderbilt Commadores.
Rhule spoke for a second time at the Angelo Football Clinic on Tuesday and credits the widely-known event for part of his newfound success in Waco.
“If you’re a coach in the state of Texas, obviously you know about this clinic,” Rhule said. “The commitment to football, the commitment to the game, the commitment to just coaches in general. The fact that we all come here, we have a chance to listen to each other, learn from each other and improve our sport, improve the experience for the young people in this state. So, anytime I have a chance to be a part of that, I’m honored and grateful.”
What sticks out to the Pennsylvania native is the parity in levels of coaches and schools that come to the clinic every year. From big Division I college coaches to small high school coaches from across the country to coaches from foreign countries, Rhule enjoys being able to learn from the various experiences and cultures present each year.
“I think it’s crucial,” he said of learning from other coaches. “If you only bring in guys who think a certain way, who have the same experiences, then, you know, you can get that from one clinic. Here, you bring in guys with different ideas, different experiences, and you get multiple clinics within one clinic.
“I think it’s great to have an entire forum with a lot of different thought processes. I’m speaking, but I’m also here to listen. I’m excited to always try and get better.”
Rhule said he enjoys coming out to the clinic because of the passion for the sport from the high school coaches. Their drive to win and get better is what he loves most.
“It’s always an honor to represent our university and represent our players. I think the biggest fun for me is saying hello to the coaches,” Rhule said. “The guys that are here, they came on their own, which means they love the game and they wanna be the best. I like to be around those guys. It motivates me to be better. It reminds me why I do what I do. I’m honored to represent Baylor, but I’m also honored to be among these coaches.”
The beauty of the Angelo Football Clinic, and clinics across Texas, is the fact that so many high school programs in the state mirror those at the collegiate and professional level. That gives college coaches a leg up when they land a recruit from the Lone Star State, Rhule said.
“What makes it great to be a Texas college football coach is that Texas high school football is so strong,” Rhule said. “The players are so well-coached, they’re so well-developed. They learn the game the right way, they’re coached the right way. So, when they get to you, they’re that much more prepared and that much more ready for your coaching.
“The high school coaches that are here, the (NCAA) Division III, Division II, I-AA, Division I Power Five, we’re all the same. We do things the same way. Our main focus in life is to go out and teach the game, to win at a high level, but also to impact and help the young people in our programs. So, whether you’re a junior high coach that’s here today or you’re an NFL coach, that’s really what we’re all trying to do.”
The clinic will continue on Wednesday at Angelo State University’s Junell Center with a duo of Big 12 coaches in Texas’ Tom Herman and Texas Tech’s Matt Wells.
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