The Carolina Panthers have until now, been mum on their intentions with head coach John Fox who’s contract expires following the season. Team owner Jerry Richardson has avoided questions and outside of the reality that Fox’s coaching days in Carolina were over, nothing official from the team had been released.
Today, Richardson made official what everyone else already knew when he told reporters that Fox and his coaching staff would not have their contracts renewed after the season.
“I told John today that I appreciate everything he has done for us over the last nine years, but as happens in this business, it is time for both sides to move in different directions,” Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said.
“While we haven’t accomplished all of the goals we set as an organization when we signed him in 2002, we have certainly had our share of high moments — the Super Bowl, two NFC championship games, and a division title in 2008,” said Richardson, who hasn’t answered questions from reporters in almost three years. “We wish John and his family the best going forward.”
Fox told the media that he was not surprised by the move and said, “I have been planning on this for three years”.
Richardson and Fox have a history of head-butting following the last playoff loss the Panthers suffered. Fox has been reported to be more vocal of some of the player movements made this season that cost his team competitive depth. The departure is hardly a surprise.
Fox did not tell his players according to an NFL.com report. They found out from other news sources. Fox will coach his final game this Sunday for the Panthers, officially, and then begin looking for another job. It shouldn’t be hard to find, at least as an assistant coach. He has served as a Defensive Coordinator for both the Raiders and the Giants.
Fox is the longest tenured coach in the history of the Panthers and will leave the team with a winning record of his tenure regardless of Sunday’s outcome.
“It’s been a lot of great memories, a lot of fond memories, a lot of great relationships and something I’ll cherish forever,” Fox told reporters. “Now (I’ll) just embark on the next chapter.”