CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — After a 1-4 start to the season, the Carolina Panthers have decided to part ways with head coach Matt Rhule.
The major announcement came from the Panthers organization Monday morning, just after a 37-15 home loss to San Francisco.
Rhule leaves the Panthers with an 11-27 record, a .289 winning percentage, according to the organization’s Monday announcement. Rhule is also the first NFL coach to be fired this season.
“The 47-year-old Rhule had generally turned his college teams at Temple and Baylor around in his third season, but that bounce hadn’t happened here so far,” the statement said.
Panthers owner David Tepper initially showed patience toward Rhule after Sunday’s loss, but grew increasingly agitated and changed his mind on Monday, the AP said.
Rhule had been lured to the Panthers from Baylor with a seven-year, guaranteed $62 million contract from Tepper, the second-wealthiest owner in the NFL.
Looking ahead, Rhule is set to be replaced with defensive pass game coordinator and secondary coach Steve Wilks on an interim basis. On the 53-year-old’s resume are one year as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 and six years on the Panthers staff from 2012-17.