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Carolina Panthers fire coach Matt Rhule after 1-4 start

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The Carolina Panthers hired former Baylor Bears head coach Matt Rhule in 2020. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
The Carolina Panthers hired former Baylor Bears head coach Matt Rhule in 2020. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The Carolina Panthers fired coach Matt Rhule after a 1-4 start to the 2022 season, the team announced Monday. Assistant coach Steve Wilks was named interim head coach.

The San Francisco 49ers beat the Panthers 37-15 on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers have the worst offense in the NFL in terms of total yards. They also totaled the fewest first downs and ranked 24th in points for through five weeks.

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Rhule's Panthers went 11-27 over the past three seasons. They never made the playoffs or finished better than third place in the NFC South division standings.

Rhule, 47, was hired in 2020 after he served as the head coach at Baylor for three seasons. He also worked as head coach at Temple and as a position coach for the New York Giants, as well as several other colleges before accepting the Panthers job.

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Rhule led the Panthers to a 5-11 record in 2020. The Panthers were 5-12 in 2021.

Rhule and the Panthers opened the 2022 campaign with a 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns. The New York Giants beat the Panthers 19-16 in Week 2. The Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints 22-14 on Sept. 14 for their lone win so far this season.

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The Arizona Cardinals beat the Panthers 26-16 in Week 4.

Wilks was the Panthers' secondary coach and defensive pass game coordinator to start the season. He was the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns and University of Missouri in 2019 and 2021, respectively.

Wilks spent the 2012 through 2017 seasons as a defensive backs coach, defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the Panthers. He led the Arizona Cardinals to a 3-13 record in 2018, his lone season as an NFL head coach.

Wilks was fired at the end of that year and replaced by current Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury.

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Wilks also served as a secondary and defensive back coach for the Washington Commanders, Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers.

The Panthers, who sit in last place in their division, will play the Los Angeles Rams (2-3) at 4:05 p.m. EDT Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

This week in the National Football League

Washington Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan Allen (L) makes a interception against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on Thursday. The Commanders beat the Bears 12-7. Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo

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