Frank Reich only had to wait two months to find his next head coaching gig.
The former Colts coach will be the new Carolina Panthers coach, multiple outlets reported Thursday.
Reich is bouncing right back into coaching two months after Indianapolis fired him following a 40-33-1 as coach that ended with a 3-5-1 record this season, falling well short of their AFC South title hopes. This will be his second head coaching opportunity, as he returns to a familiar city in Charlotte and a franchise he played for as a backup quarterback in 1995.
Reich was linked to the Panthers from the start, as Carolina, much like Indianapolis, is looking to end a carousel of quarterbacks that has continued since Cam Newton's departure. The Panthers finished 7-10 last year and also fired a coach midseason, replacing Matt Rhule with Steve Wilks, who went 6-6 to close.
Wilks was the runner-up for the job as players campaigned to keep a defensive coordinator who had transitioned them to a run-first offense and went 6-6 as the interim. But with the need to draft and develop a future starting quarterback, the Panthers zeroed in on offensive minds.
That job is in Reich's wheelhouse, as he broke in five different Week 1 starting quarterbacks in his five seasons as Colts coach. He took Andrew Luck to one of his best seasons in 2018 before getting mostly efficient seasons out of Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz, though this past season's trial with Matt Ryan did not live up to that reputation.
The next quarterback Reich drafts will be his first to develop that route since Wentz in Philadelphia, which reached MVP contention heights by their second season together before he suffered an injury and the Eagles rode Foles to the Super Bowl victory, which landed Reich the Colts job.
The Panthers are the first of the five teams with open jobs to fill one. The Colts just started the second round of interviews, and they join the Broncos, Texans and Cardinals in search of a new leader.
Reich's hire could impact the Colts if their hire is interested in maintaining members of the current coaching staff. Reich will be building out his in Carolina and should have interest in several of his former employees, possibly including both remaining coordinators in Bubba Ventrone and Gus Bradley.
The hire will save Colts owner Jim Irsay some of the $36 million buyout he was set to pay Reich after extending him before the 2021 season.
Contact Colts insider Nate Atkins at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NateAtkins_.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Frank Reich will be the next coach of the Carolina Panthers
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