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Temple gives Matt Rhule a new deal

By all accounts, Monday was a good day for Temple football coach Matt Rhule.

On the day he agreed to a new contract for the second time in a little more than six months, he was also was named one of eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The award is named for longtime Grambling State University coach Eddie Robinson.

The new Temple deal, announced on Monday by the school, runs through the 2021 season.

Rhule's old contract also ran through 2021, so Temple tore up the previous contract and gave him a new one.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Rhule stood to make approximately $1.5 million this year with bonuses. While his new salary wasn't disclosed, a source said it would begin well above the $1.5 million figure.

The old contract reportedly had a $4 million buyout.

Rhule signed an extension in June that took his original deal through the 2021 season. With so much success this year, it became apparent that the June extension soon became outdated.

Last week, The Inquirer reported that Temple was in negotiations to make sure that Rhule would remain head coach at Temple. Those negotiations have been ongoing and began well before Rhule met with Missouri officials on Nov. 29 about their then-vacant head coaching job that has since been filled.

"While this has been such a special season, there is still so much more that Temple football can accomplish," Rhule said in a statement released by the school. "I am proud to coach such incredible student-athletes and I am honored to continue to be a part of the Temple community."

Giving Rhule a raise is all part of doing business while having a successful head coach guiding a program, especially in a non Power Five conference.

Just last week Houston, which beat Temple, 24-13 in Saturday's inaugural American Athletic Conference championship, announced that it had given coach Tom Herman a raise and extension. Houston extended Herman's original contract through the 2020 season and the school said it would raise Herman's annual compensation to $2.8 million.

Another coach in the AAC, Justin Fuente, recently left Memphis to become the new head coach at Virginia Tech.

After going 2-10 in his first season in 2013, Temple went 6-6 last year and is now 10-3. The Owls won the East Division of the American Athletic Conference to earn the championship game appearance.

Temple will now play Toledo in the Dec. 22 Bacon Raton Bowl.

The other finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award are Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Houston's Tom Herman, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Stanford's David Shaw, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Clemson's Dabo Swinney.

The winner will be revealed on Dec. 16.