Panthers to hire Frank Reich as next head coach
Frank Reich has landed another head-coaching job.
After being fired midseason by the Indianapolis Colts, Reich was announced Thursday as the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
Reich, 61, played quarterback for the Panthers in 1995 — the franchise's first year of existence — as part of his 14-year playing career. He moved into the coaching world with the Colts in 2006 and worked his way through the ranks, including a notable stint as the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles when the franchise won its first Super Bowl after the 2017 season.
From there, Reich spent parts of five seasons as the Colts’ head coach, amassing a 40-33-1 overall record with two postseason appearances. Now he’s getting another shot with the Panthers, who finished 7-10 this season and have an exciting young core of players, particularly on defense.
The quarterback position is still a question for the Panthers, who parted ways with head coach Matt Rhule early this season. Rhule was fired following a 1-4 start, and the Panthers then amassed a 6-6 record under interim coach Steve Wilks.
Wilks was reportedly a finalist for the job, but the franchise opted to hire Reich instead.
He issued a statement on Friday, saying that he is "disappointed but not defeated." Wilks added that it was an "honor" to coach the men of the Panthers and sent Reich well wishes.
— Steve Wilks (@ScoreonD) January 27, 2023
The Panthers have had five consecutive seasons with a losing record and haven’t played in the postseason since the 2017 season. The Panthers hope Reich is the coach to take them back to the top of the NFC South, a division they haven't won since 2015.
With the hire of Reich, the Panthers' becomes the first head coach opening to be filled this cycle. The four other openings are with the Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.