A tough season filled with hard to swallow losses and no playoffs made the decision for the Panthers easy on Tuesday – head coach Ron Rivera is out after nine seasons as the team’s head coach.
Tuesday’s move was made by Panthers owner David Tepper, two days after the team suffered a bad 29-21 home loss to the Washington Redskins, who entered the game with just two wins.
“I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” Tepper said in a statement.
“I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
“We are going to take a comprehensive and thorough review of our football operation to make sure we are structured for long-term sustained success,” Tepper said.
“Our vision is to find the right mix of old-school discipline and toughness with modern and innovative processes. We will consider a wide range of football executives to complement our current football staff. One change that we will implement is hiring an assistant general manager and vice president of football operations. We all must recognize that this is the first step in a process, but we are committed to building and maintaining a championship culture for our team and our fans.”
For now, secondary coach Perry Fewell will be the teams interim head coach. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will transition to special assistant to the head coach, and quarterbacks coach Scott Turner will serve as offensive coordinator.
Rivera’s time with the Panthers ends with a mark of 76-63-1 in the regular-season record and a 3-4 postseason record.
He was a two-time NFL Coach of the Year and took the team to Super Bowl 50 before losing to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Santa Clara, California.
The last two seasons with injuries to quarterback Cam Newton were frustrating to the entire organization, and the team felt it with Rivera leading them to a mark of just 12-16.