Panthers head coach interview tracker
The Panthers added another name to the interview list Tuesday when Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore became the ninth to meet with the team about the head coaching job.
Steve Wilks, Sean Payton, Ken Dorsey, Mike Kafka, Ejiro Evero, Shane Stichen, Frank Reich and Jim Caldwell.
Panthers hire ex-Colts coach Frank Reich as new head coach
Frank Reich, the starting quarterback for the first game in Carolina Panthers history in 1995, is now the team's sixth head coach. Owner David Tepper chose Reich, 61, after an extensive search that included nine candidates, including interim head coach Steve Wilks and former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. It ultimately came down to Reich and Wilks, who went 6-6 after Matt Rhule was fired following a 1-4 start. Wilks was the sentimental favorite of Carolina players to get the full-time job.
Reich, fired as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in November, is the first offensive-minded head coach hired in Carolina history. That played a big role in the decision to hire him over Wilks, whose background is on defense. Reich was fired by the Colts after a 3-5-1 start, ending his tenure with the team a little over one year after extending his contract through the 2026 season. He was 40-33-1 during four-plus seasons in Indianapolis, 1-2 in the postseason. His dismissal came a week after he benched Ryan in favor of second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
Matt Rhule files $5M complaint against Panthers, source confirms
Former Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule has filed an arbitration suit against the team seeking about $5 million in offset severance compensation, according to a source with knowledge of the suit. Rhule, now the head coach at Nebraska, is seeking money he believes the Panthers still owe him after he was fired Oct. 10, the source said. Rhule was hired as Nebraska coach in late November. Rhule was fired five weeks into the 2022 season with an 11-27 overall record in two-plus seasons after signing a seven-year, $62 million deal in January 2020. After the introduction of Frank Reich as the Panthers' new coach Tuesday, team owner David Tepper said he made a mistake in hiring a "CEO-type head coach'' in Rhule.
Panthers owner David Tepper trying to end 'old boys' network'
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, despite hiring Frank Reich over Steve Wilks as the team's sixth head coach, insisted on Tuesday he's doing what he can to break up the "old boys' network" in the NFL. The old boys' network of mostly white owners has a history of not putting minority candidates in positions of power, particularly as it pertains to head coaches.
There currently are only three Black head coaches in the NFL: Todd Bowles of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and DeMeco Ryans of the Houston Texans, who hired him Tuesday. In addition, Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins identifies himself as biracial. The Panthers hired Reich, who is white, over Wilks, who is Black. Tepper insisted race had nothing to do with the decision. He pointed to his executive team that includes: his wife, Nicole, the chief administrative officer; Kristi Coleman, the chief administrative officer; Kisha Smith, a Black woman who is a senior vice president that oversees human resources; and Tanya Taylor, a general counsel who is a Black woman.