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Frank Reich’s Comments After Panthers Firing Hint at Potential Retirement

Frank Reich was fired by Panthers owner David Tepper on Monday after the team went 1–10 to start the season.

This was the second consecutive season during which Reich has been fired as the head coach of an NFL team. Last season, he was dismissed from the Colts after a 3–5–1 start. 

These almost two seasons were his only stints as a head coach in Reich’s career. He turns 62 next week and admitted after Monday’s firing that “this is probably the final chapter of my NFL journey,” via his interview with The Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler. Reich hasn’t given an official retirement announcement, though.

In regards to his time as the Carolina coach, Reich felt like he didn’t accomplish what he wanted to achieve.

Panthers coach Frank Reich stands on the sidelines during a game.

Frank Reich was fired as a head coach before finishing the season for the second consecutive year.

“There’s a heart-pounding disappointment in not hitting the marks that we needed to hit to keep this going and try to get it turned around,” Reich said. “It hurts me for the guys, the team, the coaches, and the fans.”

Reich also said he has “no hard feelings” for Tepper and that the owner’s decision is part of being in the NFL.

“I want to convey that I have nothing but positive thoughts about Mr. Tepper,” Reich said. “On a personal level, I saw a side of him that I deeply respect and care about. But the NFL is a meritocracy. It’s not unconditional love. 

“I understand from a professional standpoint, Mr. Tepper is going to have certain standards that he expects to have met,” he added. “I have no hard feelings, and my personal relationship with him was actually a real highlight of this short time.”

Reich’s firing also marked the second consecutive season that Tepper has made a coaching change for the Panthers. Matt Rhule was fired after posting a 1–4 start last season.