The Carolina Panthers named Frank Reich their new head coach on Thursday, officially putting Steve Wilks out of the running following his stint as the interim head coach. With the top job no longer available, Wilks has made clear he has no intention of returning to Carolina this offseason. Via NFL insider Tom Pelissero, Wilks is planning to coach “somewhere else” during the 2023 season, though in what capacity remains to be seen.
Via Pelissero on Twitter:
“With Frank Reich hired as head coach in Carolina, Steve Wilks intends to coach elsewhere in 2023. He impressed many around the league in his interim stint, rallying the #Panthers to a 6-6 finish, and should have options.”
At this point, it may be unlikely that Wilks is a serious candidate for another head coaching gig, but he could still latch on in a coordinator role. Prior to serving as the Panthers’ interim head coach, Wilks was the team’s defensive passing game coordinator. He was Carolina’s DC in 2017 and served in the same role for the Browns in 2019.
Wilks was the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach in 2018, but was let go after a 3-13 season.
As Pelissero indicates, his job with the Panthers during the second half of the season did not go unnoticed around the league. Hopefully, Wilks lands on his feet in a solid coaching role after the Panthers opted to roll with Reich, who played QB in Carolina back in 1995.
Wilks’ legal representatives, Wigdor Law, released a statement expressing their disappointment that their client was passed over by Panthers owner David Tepper.
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 David Tepper(1/2) https://t.co/sC865mOZAN
— WigdorLaw (@WigdorLaw) January 26, 2023
Wilks, of course, joined Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL, and is being represented by Wigdor Law, who shared their belief that Wilks was more than deserving to receive the head coaching role.