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Frank Reich named new head coach of the Panthers

Frank Reich was hired as the next Carolina Panthers head coach. He will sign a four-year deal with the team.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers announced that Frank Reich will be the team's next head coach. 

Reich recently completed his second interview with the team and was trending as one of the leading candidates since the season ended. Reich was fired by the Indianapolis Colts midseason after four-plus seasons. He has a 41-35-1 record as a head coach. Reich took the Colts to the playoffs twice in four full seasons and finished below .500 just once. 

Reich is scheduled to sign a four-year contract on Monday. He will be publically introduced on Tuesday.

Reich was the first quarterback in Panthers' franchise history in 1995. Prior to his stint in Indianapolis, Reich served as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles during their Super Bowl season in 2017 and worked with quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck. 

Luck's surprise retirement in 2018 changed the complexion of Reich's tenure. He went 30-27 with a combination of Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan. 

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Reich was among three candidates who reportedly had second interviews, including interim coach Steve Wilks and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore

Carolina interviewed several NFL assistant coaches, including Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. 

Wilks led the Panthers to a 6-6 record during his stint as interim coach. Wilks took over a 1-4 team after Matt Rhule was fired and had Carolina on the cusp of the playoffs and the NFC South division crown. Team owner David Tepper gave Wilks serious consideration for the permanent job, but it was reported by various outlets that Tepper was looking for an offensive-minded coach. 

The 53-year-old Charlotte native won more games than Rhule did in each of his first two full seasons at the helm.

Wilks did all of that after the team traded its No. 1 offensive option (Christian McCaffrey), its No. 2 receiver (Robbie Anderson), and with a limited quarterback room of P.J. Walker, Baker Mayfield, and Sam Darnold.

"None of you guys expected us to even be in this situation," Wilks said. "To be able to take a 1-4 team and get to the doorstep of possibly winning this division and going to the playoffs, I have no regrets whatsoever. "

Former Saints coach Sean Payton was also interviewed, but it's unclear if negotiations fell through or the price was simply too much when it came to compensating New Orleans to acquire Payton. The former Super Bowl winner is under contract with New Orleans and has been linked to the Denver Broncos opening. 

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