Ron Rivera is out of a job.

The Panthers announced the decision Tuesday, ending Rivera’s nine-year stint with Carolina. Rivera went 76-63-1 with the Panthers, including a 3-4 postseason record. He was named AP NFL Coach of the Year in 2013 and led Carolina to three NFC South titles as well as the 2015 NFC Championship game.

According to owner David Tepper, the move was tough but necessary.

“I thought it was time,” he said, per ESPN. “Why specifically now is I was informed of other teams doing different types of searches out there and I’m not going to start a search and not tell Ron Rivera I’m starting a search. Too good of a man.”

Secondary coach Perry Fewell now steps in as the team’s interim head coach. And while Tepper has lots of ideas about who to go after, Fewell still remains in the running. (And no, it apparently has nothing to do the Rooney Rule.)

“Perry is a general. He’s a commander. That’s why Perry is in that position,” Tepper said. “Rest assured, Perry Fewell is not in that spot because he’s African American. He’s in that spot because he’s the best man for the job, period.”

So, what will the Panthers be looking for in a new head coach? Well, it’s not so simple.

“We are going to take a comprehensive and thorough review of our football operation to make sure we are structured for long-term, sustained success,” Tepper said. “Our vision is to find the right mix of old-school discipline and toughness with modern and innovative processes.”

Check out ESPN’s full report here >>>

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