Panthers will not renew coach, staff

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 5:01 PM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers announced on Friday that the contracts of head coach John Fox and his staff will not be renewed after this season.

Fox has coached Carolina for the past nine seasons, and has led the Panthers to a 2-13 record this year heading into Sunday's season-finale at Atlanta.

"I appreciate the opportunity Mr. Richardson gave me to be a head coach in the National Football League nine years ago and to be a part of this organization," Fox said.

"I have formed many close relationships and I have many great memories. I particularly want to thank the players for their efforts throughout the years. Working with so many great people has been a rewarding experience."

The 55-year-old Fox became the third head coach of Carolina in 2002. He turned a 1-15 team under George Seifert the year before into a 7-9 club. The following year was a very successful one for the Panthers, as Fox led the team to an 11-5 record and a trip to Super Bowl XXXVIII. However, the Patriots used a last-minute field goal by Adam Vinatieri to beat Carolina, 32-29.

A 7-9 record in 2004 was followed up by another 11-5 season in 2005, which resulted in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.

A pair of .500 and below seasons came prior to Fox's best year with the Panthers in 2008. That year's team went 12-4 and finished first in the NFC South, but a loss to the Cardinals in the second round of the playoffs proved to be devastating for the organization.

Carolina finished 8-8 in 2009 before the wheels fell off this 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/founder 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. We wish John and his family the best going forward."

Over his tenure with the Panthers, Fox led the Panthers to two NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. He has compiled a 73-70 regular season record and 78-73 overall record through last week's game at Pittsburgh.

Fox will leave Carolina as the winningest coach in team history.


Videos

Photos