Nov 27, 2023 - News

Carolina Panthers fire head coach Frank Reich

Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich on the sidelines.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 19: Head coach Frank Reich of the Carolina Panthers shouts in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers have fired first-year head coach Frank Reich.

Context: Reich, who was the Panthers’ first starting quarterback in 1995, led the team to 1-10 this season and drafted No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young last spring. Reich’s 11-game run in Carolina was the shortest tenure for an NFL head coach in 45 years.

Details: Panthers owner David Tepper met with Reich this morning and told him the news, per a team statement.

  • Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will serve as interim head coach.
  • Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown will take over play-calling duties. Jim Caldwell will serve as a special advisor to Brown.
  • Assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley and quarterbacks coach Josh McCown were cut Monday afternoon.

Why it matters: Since Tepper bought the team in 2018, the Panthers have had six head coaches, three of them interim.

  • The Panthers are 30-63 under Tepper.

Zoom out: The Pittsburgh Steelers have had three head coaches over the past 50 years.

The big picture: In Charlotte, inconsistency at the head coach position doesn’t stop on the football side. Charlotte FC, which Tepper also owns, recently fired head coach Christian Lattanzio.

Yes, but: TSE built its MLS headquarters in east Charlotte. The group also turned Bank of America Stadium into a concert destination, bringing artists like Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones and Kenny Chesney to Mint Street.

The bottom line: Many football fans tell Axios they don’t care about Tepper bringing MLS to Charlotte or concerts at Bank of America Stadium. They just want a winning football team again — something they haven’t had under the current ownership.

Here’s a timeline of Carolina Panthers head coaches under Tepper:

Ron Rivera was fired in December 2019. He is the last head coach to lead the team to a winning season, a playoff appearance or a Super Bowl.

Former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera holds up a T-shirt at the end of a press conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Rivera was fired as coach on Tuesday.
Rivera held up a T-shirt that said “Thank you” after he was fired. Photo: David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Perry Fewell served as interim head coach for the rest of the 2019 season. The team went 0-4 under Fewell. 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 22: Interim head coach Perry Fewell of the Carolina Panthers watches from the sidelines during the first quarter of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
Head coach Perry Fewell. Photo: Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Matt Rhule was Tepper’s first hire as head coach in 2020. He was fired in October 2022 with an overall recored of 11-27. 

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 02: Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers looks on prior to the first half of their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Head coach Matt Rhule. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Steve Wilks, a Charlotte native, served as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2022 season. The team went 6-6 under Wilks.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 11: Head coach Steve Wilks of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on December 11, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
Head coach Steve Wilks. Photo: Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Frank Reich was named head coach in January 2023 and fired in November 2023.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer, Linda Reich, Panthers head coach Frank Reich, team owners David and Nicole Tepper and team president Kristi Coleman at Reich's introductory press conference.
Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer, Linda Reich, Panthers head coach Frank Reich, team owners David and Nicole Tepper and team president Kristi Coleman. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Chris Tabor will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the 2023 season.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 18: Chris Tabor of the Carolina Panthers looks on from the sideline against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium on Friday, August 18, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Perry Knotts/Getty Images)
Head coach Chris Tabor. Photo: Perry Knotts/Getty Images

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include the firing of Duce Staley and Josh McCown. 

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