Carolina Panthers sack head coach Matt Rhule

Matt Rhule was into his third season with the Carolina Panthers; Defensive pass game coordinator Steve Wilks will now take charge of the team on an interim basis

Last Updated: 10/10/22 4:48pm

Matt Rhule will be replaced by Steve Wilks on an interim basis

Carolina Panthers have “parted ways” with head coach Matt Rhule after a disappointing 1-4 start to their season.

The decision ends the former Baylor coach’s tenure five games into his third losing season after Sunday’s 37-15 home loss to San Francisco.

The 47-year-old was lured away from Baylor with a seven-year, guaranteed $62 million contract by David Tepper, the second-wealthiest owner in the NFL.

Rhule has gone 11-27 during his three seasons in Carolina and leaves with four years left of that seven-year contract that was handed to him in 2020, meaning that the side will owe him more than $40 million on his departure.

He will now be replaced by former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and secondary coach Steve Wilks on an interim basis.

In a statement put out on social media on Monday, the team said: “The Panthers on Monday parted ways with head coach Matt Rhule, after the team fell to 1-4 with a home loss to San Francisco.

“He leaves with an 11-27 record (.289 winning percentage).

“The 47-year-old Rhule had generally turned his college teams at Temple and Baylor around in his third season, but that bounce hadn’t happened here so far.

“He will be replaced on an interim basis by defensive pass game coordinator/secondary coach Steve Wilks.

“The 53-year-old Wilks spent one year as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and six years on the Panthers staff from 2012-17.”

The Panthers hoped Rhule could turn things around in his third year as he did at Baylor and at Temple before that.

The team had constant turnover at quarterback under Rhule, with Teddy Bridgewater as the starter in 2020 and Sam Darnold and Cam Newton getting starts last year.

The Panthers traded for Baker Mayfield this offseason but the 2018 No. 1 overall draft pick has had a difficult start, ranking last in the NFL in ESPNs total quarterback rating.

Mayfield has completed 54.9 per cent of his passes and is averaging fewer than 200 yards passing per game with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

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