On Tuesday afternoon, the Carolina Panthers announced they parted ways with head coach Ron Rivera after nearly nine seasons with the team. After starting the 2019 season with high hopes for the playoffs and stringing together a four-game winning streak in late September and early October, Carolina went on a quick decline, winning only one of their last six games.
Quarterback Cam Newton was injured early in the season and the Panthers were forced to turn to rookie quarterback, Kyle Allen. After some success early on with Allen, Rivera was unable to string together wins after their four-game winning streak came to an end. There had been some chatter of Rivera possibly being on the hot seat after his team had underperformed. The Panthers have been inconsistent under the Rivera regime, only posting three winning seasons and three playoff appearances during his tenure. Rivera did average 8.4 wins a season during his time as head coach. A 7-8-1 season back in 2014 was good enough for the Panthers to make it to the postseason, but they ultimately lost in the divisional rounds.
In 2015, Ron Rivera had his best season as head coach for the Panthers, posting a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance. Rivera will leave Carolina with a coaching record of 76-63-1 in the regular season and 3-4 in the postseason. Carolina also won the NFC South three times and one NFC Championship under Rivera.
Secondary coach Perry Fewell will assume the role of interim head coach while owner David Tepper leads the search for a new head coach. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will become the special assistant to the head coach while his son and the team’s quarterbacks coach, Scott Turner, will assume offensive coordinator duties.
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement, “I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team. 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.”
Tepper stated that he’ll be looking for the right mix of “old school discipline” and “toughness” with modern and innovative processes. He went on to say that the team will be looking to hire an assistant general manager and a vice president of football operations, but it appears general manager Marty Hurney’s job is safe.
Carolina has four games left to play against two playoff contenders in the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints with the other two games being against the Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts.