SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Bruce DeHaven is transitioning to the role of senior advisor to special teams. In this new role, the former special teams coordinator will assist in game planning and advance work while returning to his home in Buffalo to receive cancer treatment.
"Bruce is going to return home, and he's going to continue with his therapy as he battles cancer," head coach Ron Rivera said. "Bruce wanted to do this. He felt now was the opportunity for us to transition."
Rivera said the hope is that DeHaven will return to Charlotte for the home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.
Veteran long snapper J.J. Jansen, who has worked with DeHaven since 2013, said the longtime coach has been "rock-solid" throughout this difficult process.
"He's just kind of stayed the course, and it's been really respectable how he's handled the situation and himself," Jansen said. "He's had the same energy, the same drive and passion that he brought all the years we've been together. You wouldn't have noticed a difference in the way he's conducted his business. Today is tough, and it will continue to be tough, but I'm proud of him."
Thomas McGaughey, who joined the Panthers as an assistant special teams coach in February, will assume the special teams coordinator role. A veteran of 10 NFL seasons, McGaughey has been a special teams coordinator or assistant in the NFL or at a major college program since 2002.
Former Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn, who has been serving as a special teams coaching intern during the offseason, will serve as McGaughey's assistant.
"Bruce has turned a lot over to them and has empowered them to coach," Jansen said. "When it's just those two guys coaching, nothing feels different. Everyone has their own style, and he encouraged them to coach their own style while he was here. Bruce believes in both Thomas and Chase, and we're excited to follow them."