WASHINGTON (WBTV/WNCN/AP) - Former Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera has officially been named head coach for the Washington Redskins.
The Redskins made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday morning.
“After several meetings with Coach Rivera, it was clear he is the right person to bring winning football back to Washington D.C.,” said Dan Snyder, Washington Redskins Owner. “He is widely respected around the league as a man of great integrity and has proven to be one of the finest coaches in the country.”
Rivera met with the Washington Redskins Monday to discuss the team’s head coaching vacancy.
Rivera coached the Panthers the past nine seasons and took them to a Super Bowl before being fired in December.
ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter said Monday that Rivera would become the Redskins’ next head coach “barring any unforeseen developments."
Rivera recently emerged as one of the top candidates to coach the Redskins, who face a potential organizational upheaval after going 3-13. President Bruce Allen’s role atop the football operations department is in jeopardy with owner Dan Snyder mulling changes at every level.
When Snyder exited the Redskins locker room after a season-ending 47-16 loss at the Dallas Cowboys, he went directly to a waiting SUV without any comment as Allen walked by going the opposite way.
Coaching was certainly going to be one of the areas for change. Jay Gruden was fired after an 0-5 start this season, and interim coach Bill Callahan went 3-8 the rest of the way.
Callahan said after the game, following Snyder’s departure, that he hadn’t been told anything yet about his future.
“There will be a time and place for that,” Callahan said. “I’m just blessed that I’ve been coaching for 42 years and I take each day as a blessing. … Coaching’s different because it’s about change. It’s about transitioning, and so I understand that. I get that aspect of coaching.”
NFL Network and ESPN first reported Rivera’s impending visit.
Along with Rivera, former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was connected to the Redskins, and former Ohio State and Florida coach Urban Meyer watched a recent game in Snyder’s suite.
Rivera went 76-63-1 with Carolina. Current Redskins cornerback Josh Norman had his only All-Pro season under Rivera in 2015, the same year the Panthers went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl.
“Everybody knows a lot of things are going to change tomorrow and moving forward, and everybody, coaches, players, just gotta be ready for it,” veteran running back Chris Thompson said. “But I know 100 percent Dan is going do everything he can to make sure he gets the right guys in here. … From there, coach is going to put in what he expects from the players, and then it’s on the players to man up and get it right.”
Veteran quarterback Case Keenum started for the first time since Oct. 24, when he was concussed and replaced by first-round pick Dwayne Haskins. The rookie then was the starter until a sprained left ankle last week ended his season.
“The thing that I know is that this team, this group of guys, this record is not indicative of the type of locker room this is, and the type of talent I think that we had. And that’s unfortunate,” Keenum said. “There’s a lot of really good players in this locker room. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”
“While I love the storied history of the franchise, I am focused on the future and excited for the opportunity to win football games with this talented young team,” said Rivera, the Redskins report. “After meeting Dan Snyder, it was clear we are aligned in our passion for the game and he supports my vision to turn the team around. I look forward to surrounding myself with great people and getting to work.”
“I’m ready to work,” Rivera tweeted Wednesday.