CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers have signed head coach Ron Rivera to a two-year extension through 2020. Rivera's deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2018 season.
“I’m very excited about it because I really like where we are as a football team,” Rivera said. “We’ve done some really good things and we have an opportunity to do more. Things are in place and we can continue this success. We’ve had consistency of winning and we’ve gone to the playoffs four out of five years.
“This is a tremendous place with tremendous support from ownership and the people that work in the organization. And I really appreciate the support we’ve gotten from our fans in the Carolinas. That’s a big reason why I want to continue my association with this organization.”
After Jerry Richardson announced his decision to sell the team, he named Tina Becker Chief Operating Officer to stabilize the business side of the organization. This extension for Rivera, which has been in the works since September, is a big step toward stabilizing the football side.
In seven seasons (2011-17) as head coach, Rivera has guided the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance, an NFC Championship and three NFC South titles. He is a two-time (2013 and 2015) Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year award winner. Carolina has been to the playoffs four times in the past five seasons under Rivera, tied for the most playoff appearances in the NFC over that stretch.
With Carolina, Rivera has compiled a 64-47-1 regular season record, giving him a franchise-best .576 winning percentage as head coach. Rivera oversaw an NFC-record 18-game regular season winning streak that spanned the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Carolina’s .576 winning percentage during Rivera’s tenure is seventh-best in the NFL during that time.
This season, Rivera has guided the Panthers to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. Carolina’s defense finished third in the NFL with 50 sacks, and the Panthers were the only team in the NFL to not allow an individual 100-yard rusher in any game this season. The Panthers set a new franchise record by going 20 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard individual rusher. Carolina's streak is the longest active streak in the NFL.
Brought to Carolina for his defensive expertise, Rivera helped the Panthers put together four consecutive top 10 finishes in yards allowed from 2012-15, joining Seattle as the only teams to accomplish the feat, and guided the Panthers to a seventh-place finish this season.
Carolina’s offense has been one of the most effective running the ball in Rivera’s tenure, finishing in the top 10 in the NFL in rushing yards per game in six of the past seven seasons, including a fourth-place finish (131.4-yards/game) this season.
Under Rivera, Carolina has produced 28 Pro Bowl and 18 All-Pro selections, including linebacker Luke Kuechly (Pro Bowl, First-Team All-Pro), guard Andrew Norwell (First-Team All-Pro) and tackle Daryl Williams (Second-Team All-Pro) in 2017.
Before joining the Panthers, Rivera was an assistant coach with the San Diego Chargers (2007-10), Chicago Bears (2004-06, 1997-98) and Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2003). In 2006, the Bears defense led the NFL with 44 takeaways, helping propel Chicago to an appearance in Super Bowl XLI.
A second-round draft choice in 1984 by Chicago, Rivera played nine seasons with the Bears. Primarily an outside linebacker, he was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl XX winning team.