The first quarterback in Carolina Panthers history is returning to coach the team.
Frank Reich has been hired to replace interim coach Steve Wilks, who took over after Week 5 when owner David Tepper fired Matt Rhule.
Reich, 61, was fired by the Indianapolis Cots on Nov. 7 and finished with a 40-33-1 record in almost five seasons.
In Indianapolis, Reich never had a consistent quarterback – with veterans Phillip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan – but he managed to lead Indianapolis to the postseason in 2018 and 2020.
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The Panthers don’t have the quarterback spot set in stone either, with Sam Darnold a free agent.
Reich was the offensive coordinator under Doug Pederson during the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl 52 victory. Weeks later, the Colts hired him after their deal with Josh McDaniels – now coach of the Las Vegas Raiders – fell through.
Reich became the franchise’s first starting quarterback when it entered the league in 1995. He started the first three games and went 0-3; Reich played until 1998 and began his coaching career in 2006 as an intern with the Colts.
The Panthers started the season 1-4 but were 6-6 under Wilks and were in contention for the NFC South title until Week 17.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
Story Credit: usatoday.com