Panthers fire Ron Rivera after nine seasons

The Carolina Panthers aren’t waiting until the end of the season. They fired head coach Ron Rivera, who has helmed the franchise since the 2011 campaign.

This stunning news was announced by the Panthers on Twitter Tuesday afternoon:

With Rivera out, secondary coach Perry Fewell gets the interim head coach tag, and there is a bit more shuffling at this time, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Owner David Tepper gave a statement on the decision:

“I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” Tepper said. “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

“We are going to take a comprehensive and thorough review of our football operation to make sure we are structured for long-term sustained success,” continued Tepper. “Our vision is to find the right mix of old-school discipline and toughness with modern and innovative processes. We will consider a wide range of football executives to complement our current football staff. One change that we will implement is hiring an assistant general manager and vice president of football operations. We all must recognize that this is the first step in a process, but we are committed to building and maintaining a championship culture for our team and our fans.”

Carolina has gone 5-7 this season, losing its last four games. The last thing Panthers fans will remember about Rivera’s time with the team was that he lost to the Washington Redskins. That’s a shame.

Rivera took the Panthers nearly to the top, losing to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season. In his eight-plus seasons as the head coach of the Panthers, he went 76-63-1, getting to the playoffs four seasons.

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