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Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Carolina Panthers To Name Ron Rivera As Second Latino Head Coach In NFL History
As reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, San Diego defensive coordinator will be the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Rivera will be only the 2nd Latino head coach in NFL history (Tom Fears was the first in 1967). Rivera is of Puerto-Rican and Mexican decent.
The 49-year-old Rivera had previously interviewed for head coaching positions and been denied eight times before finally breaking into the head coaching ranks. He began his coaching career back in 1999 with the Philadelphia Eagles before becoming the defensive coordinator for the Bears in 2004 and constructing one of the best defenses of the decade. After interviewing for several head coaching positions in 2007, his contract was not renewed by the Bears and Rivera moved on to join the Chargers coaching staff in 2008. The Chargers finished the 2010 season at the top of the NFL in total defense, allowing the league's fewest yards.
Rivera instituted an impressive base 3-4 scheme in San Diego and will most likely bring this same strategy to Carolina, but Rivera will be faced with turning around a franchise that is coming off a disappointing 2-14 season. The good news is that Rivera has a young roster to mold as well as the number 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. I think with Rivera, it's a safe bet the Panthers go the defensive route with the pick if they do not elect to trade down.
The deal is reportedly for 4 years, $11.2 mil. Congrats to Coach Rivera. Good luck.