Regardless of his spectacular work because the Panthers’ interim head coach, Steve Wilks was not chosen to be Carolina’s everlasting coach. The job as an alternative went to Frank Reich, who was fired by the Colts 9 video games into the 2022 season.
Lawyer Douglas Wigdor, who represents Wilks in Brian Flores’ pending racial discrimination case in opposition to the NFL, issued a press release after the Panthers introduced the hiring of Reich.
“We’re shocked and disturbed that after the unbelievable job Coach Wilks did because the interim coach, together with bringing the crew again into Playoff competition and garnering the assist of the gamers and followers, that he was handed over for the Head Coach place by David Tepper.
“There’s a reputable race downside within the NFL, and we are able to guarantee you that we’ll have extra to say within the coming days.”
Wilks obtained rave critiques from Panthers gamers after changing Matt Rhule after the crew’s 1-4 begin. The Panthers went 6-6 underneath Wilks and completed simply in need of profitable the NFC South division.
The very fact the Panthers have been aggressive down the stretch was a testomony to Wilks, a longtime defensive assistant who served because the Cardinals’ head coach for the 2018 season. Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold stated Wilks’ transparency was one in all his greatest strengths throughout his time as interim coach.
“I feel with him with the ability to be trustworthy with us and inform us precisely how we’ll play the sport and what we need to do and never draw back from that,” Darnold stated after a Week 14 win over Seattle. “He stated early on, even once we have been shedding some video games, it was, ‘hey, belief the method and belief the sport plan.’ If we go right into a sport figuring out we need to run the soccer and early we get down a rating or two, we simply received to belief it and know that that sport plan goes to return to fruition. So I feel Coach Wilks has been doing a very good job messaging that to the crew.”
Carolina’s gamers overtly lobbied for Wilks late within the 2022 season. Sadly for them and Wilks, their lobbying in the end fell on deaf ears.
“We trip behind Wilks,” linebacker Shaq Thompson stated following Carolina’s late-season win in Seattle. “He got here in right here, he is a real alpha, he is a real chief and guys observe behind him.
“He is performed wonderful. Look what we have been going by.”
The shortage of minority head coaches was a hot-button subject this time a 12 months in the past, particularly after the Dolphins’ firing of Flores and Flores’ case in opposition to the NFL. The NFL had simply three Black coaches firstly of the 2022 season. A type of coaches, Lovie Smith, turned the third Black coach fired by the Texans in as a few years a day after the common season ended.
Final February, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a memo to NFL groups addressing the dearth of minority hiring.
“We’ve made vital efforts to advertise range and adopted quite a few insurance policies and applications which have produced constructive change in lots of areas, nevertheless we should acknowledge that notably with respect to move coaches the outcomes have been unacceptable,” Goodell wrote. “We are going to reevaluate and look at all insurance policies, pointers, and initiatives referring to range, fairness, and inclusion, together with as they relate to gender.”