Oct 10, 2022 - Sports

Carolina Panthers fire head coach Matt Rhule

Matt Rhule

Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule Monday after Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

State of play: Rhule, who was hired in January 2020, never took the team to the playoffs or had a winning season.

  • Charlotte native and West Charlotte High alumnus Steve Wilks will serve as interim head coach.
  • The Panthers also fired defensive coordinator Phil Snow, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported.

Why it matters: Rhule was Panthers’ owner David Tepper’s first head coaching hire. Tepper is now 0-2 in head coaching hires working out, on both the Panthers side and the Charlotte FC side.

  • This is the South, and football is king, but the Panthers are struggling on and off the field.
  • Tepper Sports and Entertainment, the team’s parent organization, saw several high-profile executives depart this year.
  • There’s also the Rock Hill debacle — what would have been an $800 million headquarters and practice facility sits half-constructed as legal volleys continue from all sides.

By the numbers: Rhule leaves with a record of 11-27. The Panthers are currently 1-4. Rhule’s reign ends with 11 losses in his last 12 regular season games.

  • Of note: He was a first-time NFL head coach after several years as a college coach, including at Baylor and Temple.

Flashback: “What’s most important is creating a foundation for future winning,” Panthers owner David Tepper told the media in an April press conference.

  • Winning plays into what Tepper said he would consider a successful season.

What’s next: The Panthers play at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 4:05pm. Starting quarterback Baker Mayfield suffered a left ankle injury in Sunday’s game. He was in a walking boot after the game, and said he would have an MRI on Monday.

Zoom out: All three of Charlotte’s major league head coaches were fired within six months this year: Charlotte Hornets’ James Borrego in April and Charlotte FC’s Miguel Ángel Ramírez in May.

  • Borrego took the Hornets to their first winning season since 2015-16, but failed to reach the playoffs during his four-year stint in Charlotte.
  • Ramírez didn’t last nearly as long, failing to connect with his players and getting sacked less than halfway through their inaugural season and less than a year on the job.
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