Ron Rivera is the NFL’s coach of the year

AP

After leading the Panthers to a 12-4 record and a division title, Ron Rivera has been named the NFL’s coach of the year.

The award, chosen by a vote of media members selected by the Associated Press, was announced at the NFL Honors event on Saturday evening in New York City.

“It’s a heck of an honor for our team. This is for our coaches, players, Mr. Richardson, our fans and our entire organization,” Rivera said.

Rivera became known as “Riverboat Ron” as he began to take more chances with his game management, and it paid off in a major way for the Panthers, who had an outstanding season. Perhaps more importantly, Rivera has fully implemented his system of defense, and the Panthers are now one of the best defensive teams in the NFL.

Several coaches were good candidates for the award this season, including Seattle’s Pete Carroll, Denver’s John Fox, New England’s Bill Belichick, Kansas City’s Andy Reid, Philadelphia’s Chip Kelly and San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh. But Rivera was the choice of the voters, and is the NFL’s coach of the year.