In the days since the Carolina Panthers hired former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich, many have expressed sympathy for Steve Wilks.
Wilks took over as the Panthers’ interim coach when the team fired Matt Rhule five games into the season. He had the team on the cusp of winning the division as he led them to a 6-6 record in its final 12 games after a 1-4 start. This was dynamic coaching for a team that does not have a set starting QB and traded away Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers.
As a result, many believed Wilks deserved to take over the head coaching role full-time.
Wilks has since sent out a statement on the matter.
NFL Coach News
Get all of the latest info, photos, and social media news surrounding NFL Coaches.
“The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so did I,” Wilks said on Twitter. “I’m disappointed but not defeated. Many people aren’t built for this but I know what it means to persevere and see it through.
“It was an honor for me to coach those men in the Carolina Panthers locker room as the interim head coach. Players, coaches and staff, thank you for your hard work and dedication. I took pride in representing Charlotte, a great city that I love so much. Thank you to my family, friends and the community for your overwhelming support.
“I do wish Frank Reich all the best. I will always be a fan of the Carolina Panthers Football Team.”
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera took to Twitter Saturday morning to issue support for Wilks.
The law firm representing Wilks ripped the Panthers organization in a statement.
“We are shocked and disturbed that after the incredible job Coach Wilks did as the interim coach, including bringing the team back into Playoff contention and garnering the support of the players and fans, that he was passed over for the Head Coach position by [CEO] David Tepper,” Wigdor LLP said in a statement
“There is a legitimate race problem in the NFL, and we can assure you that we will have more to say in the coming days.”
Reich was fired by the Indianapolis Colts midway through the 2022 season after going 3-5-1. Being passed over for the Panthers’ job isn’t the first time Wilks has taken issue with not getting a fair shot at a head coaching job. He was also fired after one season coaching the Arizona Cardinals in 2018.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.