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Panthers’ Matt Rule becomes first NFL head coach fired this season

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Five weeks into the 2022 NFL season, the first head coach has been fired. The Carolina Panthers announced on Monday that they had parted ways with Matt Rhule.

The firing did not come as too big a surprise. Not only did the Panthers start the season with a 1-4 record, tied for the worst in the league, they also did not show any clear signs of improvement during Rhule’s two-plus seasons at the helm. He was let go with an 11-27 record and no playoff appearances.

With Rhule no longer part of the organization, defensive passing game coordinator and secondary coach Steve Wilks took over in an interim capacity. Defensive coordinator Phil Snow, who had arrived alongside Rhule in 2020, was also fired.

Rhule himself joined the Panthers after head coaching stints at Temple and Baylor. He signed a seven-year, $62 million contract but just 38 games in was now let go again.