Carolina Panthers hire Frank Reich as new head coach to reunite with franchise’s first starting quarterback

Frank Reich becomes the new Carolina Panthers head coach having been the franchise’s first ever starting quarterback; Reich was dismissed as Indianapolis Colts head coach during the 2022 campaign

Last Updated: 26/01/23 8:14pm

Frank Reich returns to the place where he made history as the franchise’s first quarterback

Frank Reich was named the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

Reich becomes the sixth head coach in Panthers history having previously served as the first starting quarterback for the franchise in 1995.

The 61-year-old received a second interview with owner David Tepper and the team’s search committee this week.

He joins the Panthers after being fired by the Indianapolis Colts nine games into the 2022 season. He posted a 40-33-1 record in four-plus seasons in Indianapolis and guided the club to two postseason appearances.

Steve Wilks served as the interim coach of the Panthers after replacing Matt Rhule, who was fired October 10 after a 1-4 start.

Carolina finished with a 7-10 mark and have missed the playoffs in each of the five seasons since Tepper brought the franchise in 2018 for a then-NFL-record $2.275 billion.

Reich is viewed as an offensive-minded coach, which is in stark contract to the Panthers’ first four head coaches in franchise history.

Dom Capers, George Seifert, John Fox and Ron Rivera all rose through the ranks as defensive coordinators, while Rhule was not considered to hold a distinction as either an offensive or defensive coach. Wilks’ background also was on defense.

The Panthers’ passing offense ranked 29th in yards per game (176.2) this season, while the team averaged just 20.4 points per contest, which ranked 20th in the league.

Reich will take hold of a team that is unsettled at quarterback.

Former No 1 pick Baker Mayfield was released on December 5 and Sam Darnold, who was taken two picks behind Mayfield in the 2018 NFL Draft has thrown for just 16 touchdowns to go along with 16 interceptions in 18 games over two seasons with Carolina.

The Panthers hold the No 9 overall pick and may look to address the quarterback position in the NFL Draft.

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