Frank Reich is returning to a familiar sideline.
The Carolina Panthers have hired Reich as their next head coach, the team announced on Thursday.
Reich was fired by the Indianapolis Colts in early November after his team fell to 3-5-1 on the season. He had been in Indy since 2018 and led the organization to a 40-33-1 record during his tenure.
Prior to taking over in Indy, Reich had been the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers (2014-15) and Philadelphia Eagles (2016-17).
Reich made history with the Panthers long before becoming their head coach. He arrived in Carolina in 1995, the organization’s inaugural season, and became the franchise’s first starting quarterback.
The Panthers were the first team to fire their head coach in 2022, parting with Matt Rhule in October after a 1-4 start. Steve Wilks filled in as the interim head coach and led the team to a 6-6 record the rest of the way. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Wilks and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore were among the other top candidates for the Panthers’ vacancy.
Reich won’t have to wait long to face his former team. Carolina is scheduled to host Indianapolis during the 2023 regular season, though the date of that matchup will not be released until the spring.
Carolina is the first team to fill a head coaching vacancy this offseason. The Colts, Broncos, Texans and Cardinals are still looking to fill the position.