Outstanding Alumni Award

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Matt Rhule ’97
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Outstanding Alumni Award

Matt Rhule graduated from Penn State in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and later earned a master’s degree in educational psychology at the University at Buffalo. A four-year Penn State linebacker who played linebacker at State College Area High School before coming to Penn State, he was a three-time Penn State Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Today, Matt is head coach of the University of Nebraska football team. Prior to leading the Cornhuskers, he served as head coach of the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers from 2020–22. Matt began his twenty-five-plus year coaching career as a linebackers coach at Albright College. He joined the Panthers after three seasons as the head coach at Baylor University, where he helped guide the team from a 111 record in 2017 to an appearance in the Big 12 Conference Championship and the Sugar Bowl just two years later. Before Baylor, Matt was the head coach at Temple University for four seasons. His other football credits include a season as assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants, and as an assistant coach at Temple University, Western Carolina University, UCLA, and the University at Buffalo. 

The Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes College of the Liberal Arts alumni for extraordinary professional accomplishments and success and influence as leaders. Award honorees have a record of significant career achievements and serve as outstanding role models for current Liberal Arts students.

Past Award Honorees
  • John M. Taylor ’87 (2021)
  • James R. Antoniono ’71 (2020)
  • Elizabeth M. King ’79 (2020)
  • Caroline Critchfield Hunter ’93 (2019)
  • Jacquelin Brova ’75 (2019)
  • Dr. Jacqueline Balk Tusa ’70g (2018)
  • Joe Schwachter ’73 (2018)
  • Linda Belfus ’71 (2017)
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