Rhule reflects on personal memory of 9-11

WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Baylor football coaching staff is giving the players a day off Saturday to go visit their families if they so choose, and/or are close enough to do so.

For some people like Bears head coach Matt Rhule on Sept. 11, 2001, that wasn't possible.

The New York native was a coach for UCLA's defensive line during the most infamous attack on American soil.

"It was one of the sadder, lonelier times in Julie and I's life," Rhule said. "Our friends and family were all in Pennsylvania and New York, and us on the west coast. As is true of New York spirit, as is true the spirit of the United States, what was a tragedy has also brought a lot of people together. Today's a special day for me and a lot of people I care about."

Rhule says he's done a lot of reading about that day, and one story that comes to mind is about a United Airlines passenger Brian Sweeney, who was on one of the hijacked planes, having left one final voicemail for his wife, Julie, which coincidentally happens to be Rhule's wife's name.

"I think a day like today, my thoughts always go to people who lost their family members, people who lost friends, and always to the first responders and all those brave, brave people that lived in the city I grew up in," Rhule said. "Where everyone else was running away, they ran to, and to me that's a powerful, powerful, powerful reminder."