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Carolina Panthers fire head coach Frank Reich after disastrous 1-10 start

Grizzled man with sunglasses
Carolina Panthers
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Frank Reich

The Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Frank Reich after 11 games. The Panthers said Monday that special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will become the interim head coach.

Tabor and Tepper plan to meet with the media on Tuesday morning. On Monday afternoon, the Panthers also announced they have fired assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley and quarterbacks coach Josh McCown.

The Panthers entered the 2023 season with high hopes, driven by new signings and a young, talented quarterback taken No. 1 in the draft, looking to lead the team in a relatively weak NFC South division.

Following a 7-10 season in 2022, the Carolina Panthers entered the offseason looking to get back into the playoffs for the first time since 2017. In January, the Panthers hired Reich to replace interim head coach Steve Wilks, who coached the Panthers after previous coach Matt Rhule was fired.

Reich had a brief history with the Panthers as a player. He started the team’s first three games at quarterback in its 1995 inaugural season.

The Panthers were originally set to pick ninth in the 2023 NFL draft until the team made a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bears to get the top overall pick. The Panthers gave up its 2024 first-round pick — which currently is slotted as the top pick — and star wide receiver DJ Moore as part of that trade.

Carolina selected the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama, quarterback Bryce Young. Following the draft, the Panthers also made some notable signings in free agency, acquiring wide receivers Adam Thielen, DJ Clark, tight end Hayden Hurst and running back Miles Sanders.

Carolina opened the season on the road and lost, 24-10, to division opponent Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers went on to lose five more games in a row, posting a 0-6 record going into the bye week. After six games, injuries slowly began to pile up for the Panthers with linebacker Shaq Thompson, guard Brady Christensen and tight end Giovanni Ricci placed on injured reserve.

Coming out of the bye week, the Panthers got their only glimmer of hope for the 2023 season, defeating the Houston Texans, 15-13. Since then, the Panthers have piled up losses and now are 1-10.

Reich is the third Panthers head coach fired by owner David Tepper. And earlier this year, Tepper parted ways with Charlotte FC head coach Christian Lattanzio, who helped lead the team to the club’s first playoff appearance.

Oddly enough, the Panthers still have a chance to win the NFC South and make the playoffs.

Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.
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