Panthers fire Ron Rivera

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Ron Rivera’s run with the Panthers has come to an end.

The team announced on Tuesday that Rivera has been fired with four games left on their 2019 schedule. Defensive backs coach Perry Fewell will be the interim head coach.

“I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement. “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.”

In another move, offensive coordinator Norv Turner will become special assistant to the head coach while quarterbacks coach Scott Turner will move into his father’s former coordinator role.

The move doesn’t come as a great surprise, although many thought that the team would wait to make any changes until the end of the season. The Panthers are 5-7 and on track to miss the playoffs for a second straight year.

Tepper wouldn’t speculate on Rivera’s future a couple of weeks ago, but made it clear he wasn’t happy with how the team had been playing and two more losses, including last Sunday’s loss to Washington, likely helped push things to the breaking point. There will be more decisions to come in the front office as Tepper’s statement says the team will be hiring an assistant general manager and vice president of football operations.

No mention is made of current General Manager Marty Hurney, who may also be out of time in Carolina if Tepper decides on sweeping changes in an offseason that may also see the departure of quarterback Cam Newton.

Rivera was 76-63-1 as Panthers head coach and took the team to the playoffs four times in his first eight seasons. They were 3-4 in the playoffs and won the NFC title for the 2015 season before losing to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

134 responses to “Panthers fire Ron Rivera

  1. Tepper seems like the next Haslam. Should’ve let Ron play out the season, no reason to do him dirty like this.

  2. Thanks for a memorable run, Ron! 2015 was a magical ride without rival. All the best in your next coaching chapter.

  3. Immediate upgrade over Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland. Immediately brings respect and discipline that they need.

  4. LOL!

    This guy was never really headcoaching material. I never understood it. Felt like a fallback hire when it happened.

    They had that lucky 2015 run and then got bamboozled in embarrassing fashion in the SB.

  5. Riverboat Ron’s time has come to an end. Decent coach, but he should have been able to be a perennial Super Bowl participant with the team he had. Cam is probably next. Minus his one big year, the dude is streaky and never improved.

  6. I’m excited about the changes to come, and I hope that they work to benefit the team, but I’m also disappointed to see him go. Rivera was a welcome relief following the end of the John Fox era, and I’m hoping our next transition will prove just as fruitful. Lincoln Riley? Who knows what Tepper has up his sleeve. Best of luck to River moving forward.

  7. Not sure why owners and GM’s fire coaches during the year. Is it because they want to be “first in line” for the coordinators they are looking to poach?

  8. “Tepper seems like the next Haslam. Should’ve let Ron play out the season, no reason to do him dirty like this.”
    —————————————————————

    He’s probably doing Rivera a favor by letting him go now. There will be a few teams lining up to hire him.

  9. bkgrime says:
    December 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm
    Jerry Jones on line 1
    _______________
    “Line 1” bits are usually unfunny nonsense, but this seems very realistic to me. Jerry thinks he can win now; so when, not if, Garrett is fired, JJ will be looking for a re-tread HC without a ton of “tread”. Rivera fits that bill perfectly.

  10. Wow. Riverboat Ron Done Dirty. And HTH wants to coach a broke-down Scam Newton???
    Shortsighted decision, it seems.

  11. As a Panthers fan I’m sad to see him go, he’s a quality HC and even better human being. Having said that, out of 9 seasons he’s had a winning record in 3 of them. It’s easy to understand why Tepper wants to move on.

  12. As a Saints fan I think it’s a foolish move. Cam has been out for almost two seasons now and Rivera can’t control that(hell he might even be a SB winning coach if Cam dives for that ball) and the QB that has been playing is a career backup at best. The o-line isn’t great and the switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 takes a while to get the right players in there. All that combined just makes for a rough season. If Rivera is getting the boot then so should the GM who’s supplying him with these players.

  13. “I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.”

    GM gone too?

  14. First, if Tepper respected RR he would have waited until the end of the season. Second, what the hell is a “special assistant to the head coach”??

  15. panthers needa blow the whole thing up or suffer with the buccaneers in 6 to 8 win mediocrity for years to come. falcons have already started that process.

  16. Bear, Lion, and Brown fans salivating for Rivera’s services…I would be.
    Carolina screwed up on this one. Not Rivera’s fault, blame ownership and upper management for a sub par season.

  17. Seems like the kind of firing that let’s a good man and a good coach hit the market early and have his pick of jobs he will be considered for. New owner. Wants to shake it up. Needs to make a decision on his QB, which I think will be similar to the decision he just made on his coach.

  18. Would love to see him land a DC role with the Eagles, fingers crossed Schwartz is on the way out.

  19. Bout time. It doesn’t look like the alternating winning season tradition is on anymore.

    Hurray for new ownership!

  20. The Panthers have someone in mind for their next head coach and this gives them a head start on going after being able to get that person.

    I won’t shed any tears for Ron Rivera(former Bear) but I do not like to see any coach lose their job. Wives and childrens lives are involved and these firings are never happy news.

    I am sure Ron could get a D coordinator job tomorrow if he wanted to go that direction. I wish him the best in the future.

  21. Rivera is one of the best HEAD COACHES on the planet. Very DISRESPECTFUL of this Tepper clown.

    Rivera will land on his feet FAST.

    There’s a certain team in Chicago, that should be monitoring his status. Because their current coach (HINT…he wears a visor despite being BALD) is the single biggest poser in sports.

  22. Please Lions go get him. I can’t take another year of this New England cast-offs dog and pony show.

  23. Would love him for the Jets! Quality B to B+ coach. As a Jet fan anything over a C- coach is a HUGE WIN!
    Bowles, Rex, Mangini, Coslet, Groh, Edwards, Kotite….

  24. Rivera will have more than one offer from other teams. Giants, Browns, Bears and Cowboys are all possibilities.

  25. You can’t look at Rivera’s record and justify keeping at least a dozen head coaches around the NFL.

  26. He’s a good dude and a solid coach, but he criminally ignored a glaring issue with their O-line for years and ran his franchise QB into the dirt. I wish him well wherever he lands but a change had to be made.

  27. Tepper must think he’s too wealthy to be subject to the rule of what-goes-around-comes-around that defines the NFL. He’s gonna have to see Rivera down the line.

  28. Well, this certainly starts the spinning of the carousel…

    Rivera replacing Kitchens would be a good move.

    To me, Carolina would be a very attractive job, with McCaffrey and Kuechley in place, an escapable Cam contract, and a division with Tampa and Atlanta on the schedule. If Tomlin got fired, Tepper would hire him the same night.

  29. Be careful what some of you guys wish for here. Rivera is a very complacent and stagnant coach. He’ll look great with a lot of talent given to him, such as back in 2015, but this is a rarity. He makes a lot of dumb decisions on forth down plays.

  30. It’s hard to believe the next guy will only be the 5th head coach in 25 years….I think only the Steelers have had fewer.

  31. “They had that lucky 2015 run and then got bamboozled in embarrassing fashion in the SB.”
    ______________

    24-10 is being embarrassed? It was 16-10 with 4:00 to play when Cam fumbled and was too scared to try and get it back. Hard to fault Rivera for that.

  32. 5-7 with a backup QB and playing competitively in every game doesn’t seem like the most automatic grounds for firing.

    He must think they have the pieces and just need a new guy. But unless that new guy is seriously ready, you’re looking at a rebuild with several “win now” players in their prime on the team (McCaffrey, Olsen, Kuechly, etc.). Seems like doing the Kingsbury/Taylor thing now would waste another season or two.

  33. I’m not one to have a huge amount of sympathy for fired coaches or managers as these are extremely difficult and tenuous positions at the major college and professional level, but the Panthers aren’t 2-10 and showing zero effort or widespread mutinous behavior. It seems to me a thoroughly good guy like Rivera whose been working without a true starting qb almost all year deserved to finish this season out before being dismissed.

  34. If Ryan Pace had any sense at all, he would be on the phone right now booking a visit from Riviera and trying to back channel a trade for Newton in the off season.

  35. New owner is going to do things his way. New Head Coach, new General Manager & Front Office….and why not? You don’t pay a billion for a franchise to enjoy a mediocre team. Well, some do. Tepper obviously isn’t.

    With new uniforms and Newton gone next year, this franchise will be fresh.

  36. I agree with this decision wholeheartedly and it was time for a change in Carolina as they have been terrible the last two years. Its time for changes in Carolina. A total housecleaning will be coming at the end of the season and they may not win another football game this season. The run defense is deplorable and getting worse. Sunday’s loss to the Redskins and to let them run roughshod for 248 yards was enough for this firing decision.

  37. cobrala2 says:
    December 3, 2019 at 3:28 pm
    Wow. Riverboat Ron Done Dirty. And HTH wants to coach a broke-down Scam Newton???
    Shortsighted decision, it seems.
    ———————————————————————————-
    By any chance, is “HTH” Who the hell?

  38. Boomer Boomer says:
    December 3, 2019 at 3:36 pm
    Bear, Lion, and Brown fans salivating for Rivera’s services…I would be.
    Carolina screwed up on this one. Not Rivera’s fault, blame ownership and upper management for a sub par season.

    Lions should keep Patricia. Bears will keep Nagy, though may get new OC. Rivera’s in play for Cleveland if not McCarthy, Denver(again), possibly Atlanta, though I think they should keep Quinn.

  39. bobsacamano2 says:
    December 3, 2019 at 3:20 pm
    Immediate upgrade over Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland. Immediately brings respect and discipline that they need.
    ———————————————————————————-
    An empty chair would be an upgrade over Kitchens . That being said I agree he would be a good fit for Cleveland but doubt the Browns will be smart enough to see it .

  40. Too many times he was outcoached in the red zone on both sides of the ball, especially inside the 5… And played that soft bend don’t break defense to let the opposition get that close too often. Started feeling a lot like the last couple years Fox was HC. Hope they hire an offensive minded coach this time around.

  41. Rivera is not an upgrade over Kitchens. Cleveland needs to solidify their offensive and defensive lines and they will be fine.

  42. As a Panthers fan, I get the move, I hate the timing. Midseason firings have not proved that the teams get any sort of upper hand on who they’re hiring. It’s also disrespect to a successful coach and makes our organization look bad to potential candidates.

  43. Interesting to see the coaching carousel turning already. First Jar Gruden now Ron…
    Next up… Garrett?
    Marrone?

  44. I actually think the owner did him a favor by firing him now….Ron is NOW on ALOT of poor teams radar. I can see him with either the NY JETS or NY GIANTS…..I think the GIANTS are the best fit.

  45. thermanmerman99 says:
    December 3, 2019 at 4:19 pm
    Is he blaming Trump for being fired yet? That is always the go to excuse when all else fails

    2 1 Rate This

    —————-

    considering trump blew a lot of daddy’s money and went into debt numerous times like a moron, that sounds like a great idea

  46. Vikingsdork: Dude, by all accounts he’s a great guy and widely respected, but he’s a good coach, not an “awesome” coach by any metric so don’t exaggerate.

  47. Jerry won’t be interested. The only retread coach he ever hired was Bill. Can’t remember if Wade was retread or just a DC before Dallas. Outside of that the rest were 1st time HCs. Jimmy, Barry and Chan, Dave and Jason…..

  48. I think I would have just rode out the season. It’s hard to win without your QB.

    I also didn’t know the guy from Jane’s Addiction coached in the NFL. What a joack of all trades….

  49. Billionaire dumb a**… Tepper talks like he is a football person, it’s going to be some rough years in Charlotte… This is a really bad move and why to fire Rivera with four games left in the season. Without Cam, this team didn’t have a starting QB, because it’s one thing to win against a really bad football team an another to win against a good team but dude could win against the Redskins. Rivera won’t be out of a job long because there will be about 1o Head Coaching job openings after the season ends…

  50. Atlanta
    Chicago (maybe)
    Cincinnati (unlikely unless the Rook-HC has been a disaster)
    Cleveland
    Dallas
    Detroit (maybe)
    Houston
    Jacksonville
    LA Chargers
    NY Giants (maybe)
    Washington

    …could all be looking for a new HC

  51. I can’t get over that they are a GAZILLION COACHES you can find on every College Level and then some, we talking bright innovative minds yet I’m floored at some of the talk of wanting a RETREAD / RECYCLE Coach. It make sense why many of these fans are of BAD teams since they just can’t stop being Attracted to the CYCLE of ABUSE.

    Ron Rivera went to one SB and the rest of his time was nothing more than MEDIOCRE in his 9 yrs there.

  52. To all you folks saying it’s “disrespectful” to fire him now, I wholeheartedly disagree.

    If you know you’re not going to keep him, fire him now and spare him the weeks of twisting in the wind answering excruciating job security questions. Now everyone gets to move on. I expect Hurney the GM is next to be cut loose.

    Rivera will no doubt land on his feet, either as the next Giant HC or someone’s DC.

    Not a Panther fan, but I certainly respect him.

  53. ghlatty says:
    December 3, 2019 at 3:34 pm
    First, if Tepper respected RR he would have waited until the end of the season.
    —–

    I don’t think so. If you’ve made a decision on a guy, isn’t the disrespectful thing to leave him in place twisting in the wind?

    Other teams can now contact Rivera immediately. Isn’t that better for him?

  54. Norv Turner must be like….”Hey, wait a minute. I didn’t come here to NOT be the interim coach when Ron got fired”.

  55. Riverboat Ron is a good coach. The problem isn’t him. It’s the GM and Newton… You don’t go from making Super Bowl appearances to not making the playoffs for two years in a row. Thats’s not just the coaches fault.

  56. The Panthers are underachieving. I get it. But David Tepper seems like the next “way too involved in the football side of things billionaire NFL owner.” Just because you made a mint running a hedge fund, doesn’t mean you are suddenly Bill Belichick. These guys cant help themselves – they think because they are smart about one thing, it means they are smart about everything. Ask little Danny Snyder how that’s working out for him.

  57. mymanotis says:
    December 3, 2019 at 3:47 pm
    Would love him for the Jets! Quality B to B+ coach. As a Jet fan anything over a C- coach is a HUGE WIN!
    Bowles, Rex, Mangini, Coslet, Groh, Edwards, Kotite….

    —–

    You forgot Joe Walton

  58. Anyone that knows anything about Tepper knew this was in the cards from day one if Ron didn’t win this season, Tepper doesn’t put up with mediocre and this could go either way, it could be a great thing or a real bad thing if he doesn’t get the right GM(who’s more than likely gone too) and HC. He could be firing a GM or HC every other year!

    Let the game of musical GMs and HCs begin!

    Like Bum Phillips once said “There’s two kinds of coaches, them that’s fired and them that’s gonna be fired.”

  59. I am surprised by that move. Rivera did a good job there. He is a good coach. Seems like he was hamstrung by management with personnel. He will be coaching elsewhere as soon as he wants a job. Whether he wants a coordinator gig or a HC gig is up to him. Either way, he won’t be out of work long.

  60. When ever a new owner take over, you can usually expect changes in management, coaches, and players within the next year. New owners want their own people in positions of power. People he trusts.

    I am not surprised that David Tepper is making changes, however I am surprised Tepper chose to fire Riverboat Ron with 4 games left in this season. That’s insulting to any coach if they haven’t butted heads with the owner previously. I’m sure they is more to this story.

  61. Say what you want about the team under Rivera
    _____________________

    Ok, thank you. That’s kind of you.

  62. This man will not be out of a job long. Some times the coaches are not the problem, the front office is. They let free agents walk and hitched their hopes & dreams on a diva QB. If the GM talked the owner into this he is just trying to defend his turf. Modern NFL owners need to sit down with their head coach ALONE with no GM around and have heart to hearts and after the meeting keep their mouths shut. If he’s not getting the players he can’t get the team either. Men coach men, not boyz.

  63. Eric Reid isn’t the Panthers issue. That’s just laughable. Firing Rivera makes ZERO sense. Appears the Panthers have another owner who THINKS he knows football. There lies the problem.

  64. Before the season started the word was he was probably gone. However he made the right choice in giving Kyle Allen the reins and putting Cam on injured reserve. Of course the clock now starts for Cam, Rivera was firmly in his corner.

  65. Second, what the hell is a “special assistant to the head coach”??

    That’s the dude that gets the coffees for the coaches

  66. He has always been mediocre as a coach and mostly a Jeff Fischer record. Coincidentally a team with only one offensive weapon became unstoppable the same season their owner was involved in a controversy and the league needed to garner interest in potential buyers for the franchise. Somehow in 3rd and anything over 5, everybody in the stadium knew it was going to Olson, everyone at home knew it was going to Olson, yet no defense was able to figure it out? And before and after that season Gregg Olson began and faded into relative obscurity?

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