National Football League
Panthers hire Frank Reich as head coach
National Football League

Panthers hire Frank Reich as head coach

Updated Jan. 26, 2023 3:56 p.m. ET

The Carolina Panthers have hired Frank Reich as their next head coach, the team announced Thursday.

The move is a homecoming of sorts for Reich, who was most recently the Colts head coach for four-plus seasons before getting fired this past November. 

One of the previous stops during Reich's long, winding journey through the NFL was in Carolina, where he served as the starting quarterback for the first three games of the franchise's inaugural season in 1995. 

Reich threw the first touchdown pass in team history, on its opening drive against the Falcons in Week 1. After being benched in Week 3, he did not appear in another game that season and moved on to the Jets the following year. 

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But Reich still maintained several ties to the Charlotte, N.C. area. He attended and later became president of the Charlotte campus of Reformed Theological Seminary, while his brother Joe Reich is the head football coach at nearby Wingate University, a Division II school. One of Frank Reich's daughters reportedly also works in the Panthers' marketing department.

The 61-year-old Reich broke into coaching in 2006, directing wide receivers and quarterbacks before becoming an offensive coordinator with the Chargers. He was the Eagles' OC for two years, including for their Super Bowl LII victory. Reich got the Colts head coaching job shortly thereafter, compiling a 40-33-1 mark and leading Indianapolis to playoff berths in 2018 and 2020. 

Under Reich, the Colts became known for bringing in several different veterans at quarterback after Andrew Luck's shocking retirement in the 2019 preseason. The Colts had limited success with that approach, which involved the likes of Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and most recently Matt Ryan. The Panthers will also be seeking a new quarterback this offseason after Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and PJ Walker all spent time as their starter in 2022. Carolina holds the No. 9 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Panthers went 7-10 in 2022. Carolina rebounded after firing head coach Matt Rhule amid a 1-4 start, going 6-6 the rest of the way under interim head coach Steve Wilks, who was reportedly a runner-up to Reich for the permanent job.

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