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Shula agrees to coach quarterbacks


CHARLOTTE - Mike Shula, the son of legendary NFL coach Don Shula and a 19-year NFL coaching veteran, has agreed to be the Panthers quarterbacks coach.

The 45-year-old Shula spent the past four seasons in the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars, overseeing the development of quarterback David Garrard.

"Mike possesses a great knowledge of the quarterback position, having both played there as well as coaching it," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He has worked with a wide variety of quarterbacks during his career and will be a strong addition to our coaching staff."

Under Shula's tutelage, Garrard made the Pro Bowl following the 2009 campaign. During Shula's tenure, Garrard completed 1,093 of 1,742 passes (62.7 percent) for 12,460 yards and 71 touchdowns with 41 interceptions, and he rushed for 1,109 yards and 11 touchdowns.

"Our family is excited to be a part of the Panthers organization and to have a chance to work with Coach Rivera and the new group of coaches he has brought in," Shula said.

Shula's arrival in Jacksonville coincided with Garrard taking over as the starter, and in their first season together, Garrard finished with the second-lowest single-season interception percentage in NFL history with 300-plus pass attempts, tossing just three picks in 325 attempts.

Shula landed in Jacksonville following his one foray into college coaching, a four-year stint as head coach at Alabama, his alma mater. A three-year starter at quarterback for the Crimson Tide in the mid-1980s, Shula coached Alabama to a 26-23 record, including a 10-2 record and a Cotton Bowl victory following the 2005 regular season.

A 12th-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1997, Shula wasted no time getting into coaching after his NFL playing days lasted less than a season. He was an offensive assistant for the Buccaneers in 1988 and '89 and was quarterbacks coach in 1990. He then spent two seasons as an offensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins and then three seasons as tight ends coach for the Chicago Bears before returning to Tampa Bay to serve as offensive coordinator under Tony Dungy from 1996-99.

Shula followed that with three more seasons with the Dolphins, as quarterbacks coach, before coaching Alabama.

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