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Panthers fire Matt Rhule after poor start to 2022 season

The Carolina Panthers fired Matt Rhule on Monday after the team’s Week 5 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Rhule appeared to be on the hot seat coming into the season with dysfunction at quarterback and inconsistency from all sides of the football. Rhule only won 10 games in his first two seasons as an NFL head coach and picked up his lone win this season against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3.

Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the first half of the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 

Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the first half of the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

He is the first head coach to get fired this season.

The Panthers announced Steve Wilks will become the interim head coach while the organization launches their search for a permanent replacement. Wilks currently serves as the defensive passing game/coordinator/secondary coach for the Panthers.

Wilks had a head-coaching stint with Arizona in 2018 and went 3-13 in his lone season.

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Then-defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, of the Cleveland Browns, on the sideline prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 10, 2019 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

Then-defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, of the Cleveland Browns, on the sideline prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 10, 2019 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
(Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Wilks joined Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit in April. He alleged in a complaint he was treated as a “bridge coach” to Kliff Kingsbury and did not get enough opportunity to succeed.

Wilks has been in the NFL since the 2006 season when he broke into the league as a defensive backs coach with the Chicago Bears and has been with four other teams since.

Rhule was hired by the Panthers in 2020 after deciding to part ways with Ron Rivera. Rhule had success in the college football ranks with Temple and Baylor before joining the NFL. He finished his time with Carolina 11-27 in more than two seasons.

Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers reacts following a call during the fourth quarter of their game against the Cleveland Browns at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 11, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers reacts following a call during the fourth quarter of their game against the Cleveland Browns at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 11, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Carolina has not made the playoffs since the 2017 season.

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