‘We have to get over the hump’: Tepper says now was right time to fire head coach Matt Rhule
The announcement comes a day after the Panthers fell to 1-4 on the 2022 season
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - On Monday morning, it was announced that the Carolina Panthers would be “parting ways” with head coach Matt Rhule.
The announcement comes a day after the Panthers fell to 1-4 on the 2022 season with a blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers at home. It was the team’s 11th loss in their past 12 games dating back to last season.
The Carolina Panthers also parted ways with Phil Snow and Ed Foley.
Rhule, 47, was hired in 2020 to replace longtime head coach Ron Rivera and finishes his tenure in Carolina with an 11-27 record.
The decision comes at a time when the season isn’t over, and fans are concerned about these changes.
“We have to get over the hump,” David Tepper, owner of the Carolina Panthers, said in a press conference. “I think we have to find a culture of winning.”
Previously, Rhule had been the head coach at Baylor and Temple University. Tepper signed Rhule to a seven-year, $62 million contract. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the team will now owe Rhule north of $40 million after his termination.
Defensive pass game coordinator/secondary coach Steve Wilks, 53, will take over as the interim head coach. Wilks spent one year as the Arizona Cardinals head coach in 2018. He spent six years on the Panthers staff from 2012-17 and is a Charlotte native. He played collegiate football at Appalachian State from 1987-91.
Carolina’s run game coordinator Al Holcomb is expected to be the new defensive coordinator.
During Rhule’s 38-game stint with the Panthers, he had multiple starting quarterbacks including Teddy Bridgewater, PJ Walker, Sam Darnold, the return of Cam Newton and Baker Mayfield. All of them struggled greatly as the team failed to win more than five games in a season.
Carolina faces the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
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