(CTN News) – Matt Rhule, who was in his third season as Carolina Panthers head coach, will be fired by owner David Tepper after just five games.
It follows a 37-15 loss at home to the San Francisco 49ers, when red seemed to take over half of Bank of America Stadium.
After leading the Panthers to a 1-4 start, Matt Rhule ends his tenure as head coach with an overall record of 11-27. No team he coached won more than five games in a season and no team he coached finished higher than third in the NFC South.
After only five games, Carolina’s head coach Matt Rhule Fires
Matt Rhule is the first coach to be fired in this NFL season. As interim head coach, Steve Wilks will be the defensive pass game coordinator/secondary coach. During the 2018 season, Wilks served as the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach.
Matt Rhule signed a seven-year contract in 2020 with Tepper, who bought the team in 2018. Tepper hired his first head coach as an NFL owner after firing the franchise’s winningest coach, Ron Rivera, at the end of the 2019 season.
Asked then what the next coach’s timetable for success would be, Tepper said: “If the fans are expecting something miraculous next year, listen, it could happen. Maybe it’s that reliable, but you can’t count on it.
To build sustained excellence, patience is required. Let me repeat that: sustained excellence is a matter of patience. Do you really want five years for sustained excellence?
Do you think people will wait five years for sustained excellence? For 20 years of winning seasons? They better, if they want that.
There may be some delay before you receive immediate gratification. This is a building process. You have heard about Rome, right?”
A rehabilitation program developer, Rhule built a reputation for his work. During his three years at Temple University, he increased from two wins to ten.
Matt Rhule led Baylor to an 11-3 record and a Sugar Bowl appearance in his third season after winning just one game at a program rocked by sexual violence scandals.
The NFL, however, did not respond well to his building methods. A pandemic interrupted his debut season, and the franchise was unable to find a franchise quarterback for his first two seasons.
A variety of sources indicated that he ran the Panthers like a college program during those two years, and many players didn’t like that.
The sources who were with Rhule when he lost his job in 2022 reported a more mellow Rhule. Despite the loss, Rhule refused to discuss his future at work.
“I hope you understand I’m here to talk about the game. I’ve always been very forthright with you guys. I have nothing to say about it now,” Rhule explained. “I’m just here to talk about the game tonight. I don’t want to make this about me.”
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