This will make Nick Sirianni very happy.
Eagles Super Bowl offensive coordinator Frank Reich, fired by the Colts after winning 37 games in his first four years, has been hired as the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
With the Colts 3-5-1 after nine games, the Colts fired Reich and replaced him with Jeff Saturday, who went 1-7.
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After the Eagles beat the Colts in Indianapolis in November, Sirianni criticized the Colts for dismissing his close friend.
Sirianni coached alongside Reich with the Chargers from 2013 through 2015. When Doug Pederson replaced Chip Kelly, he brought Reich to the Eagles as his offensive coordinator, and after the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2017, Reich replaced Chuck Pagano as head coach and brought in Sirianni as offensive coordinator. Sirianni held that position until the Eagles hired him as head coach after the 2020 season.
In Carolina, Reich replaces Matt Rhule, the former Temple coach who went 11-27 in Charlotte and was fired five games into this past season with the Panthers 1-4.
The last three Panthers head coaches have Philadelphia ties. Before Reich and Rhule, Ron Rivera coached in Carolina from 2011 through 2019 and was a two-time Coach of the Year. Rivera spent 1999 through 2003 on Andy Reid’s Eagles coaching staff.
The Panthers have had five straight losing seasons and haven’t won a playoff game since the 2015 team reached the Super Bowl, losing 24-10 to the Broncos in Santa Clara, Calif.
Reich, 61, was 40-33-1 in four years-plus with the Colts. His first team went 10-6 and won a wild-card game, and his 2020 team went 11-5 and lost in the wild-card round.
Among the other candidates for the Panthers’ head coaching vacancy were current Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, who interviewed on Jan. 14, former Eagles players DeMeco Ryans and Mike Kafka, the Giants’ defensive coordinator and Giants’ offensive coordinator; and one-time Eagles quarterbacks coach Sean Payton.
Steichen is also a candidate with the Texans, who interviewed him on Jan. 13, and the Colts, who also interviewed him on Jan. 14.
Reich is the first head coach the Panthers have hired with previous NFL head coaching experience since George Seifert in 1989. Seifert had coached the 49ers to two Super Bowl championships but only lasted three years with the Panthers and had a 16-32 record.
Reich, who grew up in Lebanon County, Pa., two hours west of Philadelphia, spent 14 years in the NFL, mainly as a backup quarterback. He spent 1995 with the Panthers and went 0-3 in three starts.
He began his coaching career as an intern on Tony Dungy’s Colts staff in 2006 and remained in Indy until 2012, when he coached wide receivers on Ken Whisenhunt’s staff. In 2013, he joined Mike McCoy’s Chargers staff, where he first worked with Sirianni, as well as current Eagles tight ends coach Jason Michael.