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Spurrier gone, Panthers look elsewhere for head coach

Posted: Tuesday January 15, 2002 12:36 PM

 
Coaching Classifieds
Sports Illustrated's Don Banks breaks down the available head coaching jobs around the NFL and looks at a few teams that might have an opening.

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Spurned by Steve Spurrier, the Carolina Panthers are now looking elsewhere in their search for a new head coach.

    The Panthers tried to get Spurrier, meeting with him once last week in Florida, but he opted to take over the Washington Redskins.

    So, Carolina turned its focus to New York Giants defensive coordinator John Fox, who met with team officials Monday for the chance to replace George Seifert. The Panthers also are interested in Tony Dungy, who was fired Monday by Tampa Bay, and LSU head coach Nick Saban.

    Fox said he didn't mind being the second prospect the Panthers have talked to and if hired, their obvious second choice to Spurrier.

    "Not at all, I've been second more than I'd like to remember," he said.

    Coaching Carousel
    NFL teams that have
    changed head coaches this offseason
    Team  Former  Current 
    Car.  G. Seifert  TBA 
    Ind.  J. Mora  TBA 
    Min.  D. Green  M. Tice 
    S.D.  M. Riley  TBA 
    T.B.  T. Dungy  TBA 
    Was.  M. Schottenheimer  S. Spurrier 
     
     

    Fox was a hot candidate for head coaching jobs a year ago, but missed several opportunities to interview for vacancies while he went to the Super Bowl with the Giants. Coaches are not permitted to talk with other teams while their current teams are still playing.

    Fox, who molded the Giants' defense that helped get them to the Super Bowl last season, was confident he could also improve the Panthers. Carolina set an NFL record this year with 15 consecutive losses in a season and ranked 31st in the league in both total offense and defense.

    "Obviously, you have to have a lot of confidence in your ability to turn something around," said Fox, who might have had a head coaching job a year ago if he didn't have to wait to interview until after the Super Bowl. "I've done that through different organizations and different teams. I think I'll be very successful."

    Another option the Panthers could consider is Marty Schottenheimer, whom the Redskins fired in favor of Spurrier.

    Schottenheimer has a home in nearby Lake Norman, but is a longshot because the Panthers might shy away from hiring the coach who was fired so another team could hire the coach Carolina really wanted.

    Panthers owner Jerry Richardson had said he would take his time with the search, which could mean Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis could still have a chance to interview. Baltimore is still playing, leaving Lewis unavailable until the Ravens season is over.


     
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