The first of five head coaching vacancies has been filled, as NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero say that the Carolina Panthers are hiring Frank Reich as their head coach.
The Panthers decision to hire Reich likely means that Kellen Moore will be back as the Cowboys offensive coordinator next season. Moore was among the finalists for the job and "really, really stood out" in the Panthers' decision making process, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
"The Cowboys OC (Moore) made this a very tough decision," Rapoport added.
It will be Reich's second head coaching gig, as he of course coached the Indianapolis Colts from the start of the 2018 season until his dismissal this past November. Reich went 40-33-1 in parts of five seasons as the head coach of the Colts, but the franchise wasn't able to recover after star quarterback Andrew Luck's shocking retirement days before the 2019 season began.
Prior to joining the Colts as their head coach, Reich also had stints as the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles. The 61-year-old Reich -- along with head coach Doug Pederson -- helped guide the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title during the 2017 season, with backup Nick Foles under center for the postseason run.
Reich also had a 13-year playing career in the NFL, most notably serving as Jim Kelly's backup for the Buffalo Bills during a nine-year stint with the team. But Reich did start the first three games for the Panthers during their inaugural season of 1995, before Kerry Collins replaced him.
The Panthers were competitive in the lowly NFC South in 2022, despite posting a 7-10 record. Six of those wins came after Steve Wilks assumed the head coaching job on an interim basis in October when Matt Rhule was fired. There had been some thought that Wilks could become the head coach on a full-time basis, but evidently that will not happen.
With the Panthers job off the board, the Colts, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals still have head coaching vacancies.