The Arizona Cardinals announced Monday that they’ve officially hired Panthers DC Steve Wilks as their next head coach. Wilks receives a four-year contract that includes a fifth-year, team option.
“This is not really a rebuild, this is a retool,” Wilks said, via AzCardinals.com. “We have the culture of winning here. We just have to be able to sustain it. It’s all about trying to get to the next level and the consistency you need to get to the next level.
“I believe building a culture based on three things: Trust, commitment and accountability.”
“I understand it’s a privilege,” Wilks added. “I’m humbled and honored to be the head coach.”
“In our research, they talked about what a passionate coach (Wilks) is on the field and what a terrific leader he is,” team president Michael Bidwill said. “Players love playing for him.”
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Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that the Cardinals are closing in on a deal to make Panthers DC Steve Wilks their next head coach.
- Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport have confirmed that the Cardinals are close to hiring Wilks and they no longer have second interviews scheduled with other candidates.
- According to Jason La Canfora, some of the Panthers’ coaching staff will follow Wilks to Arizona.
Arizona was reportedly scheduled to meet with a few candidates including Patriots LBs coach Brian Flores and Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo this week for follow up interviews. However, Somers mentions that Wilks was impressive enough during his second interview with the team on Friday that he’s now expected to be hired as their next head coach.
Wilks was a popular name in this year’s head-coaching cycle, as he was linked to every available opening. It will be interesting to see what Wilks does in terms of hiring offensive and defensive coordinators, as a number of notable coaches have been linked to the Cardinals in recent weeks.
Wilks, 48, began his NFL coaching career with the Bears as their defensive backs coach back in 2006. He spent two years with the Chargers before following Ron Rivera to Carolina as their defensive backs coach. The Panthers promoted him to assistant head coach in 2015 and then to defensive coordinator last year after Sean McDermott took the Bills’ job.
We’ll have more regarding the Cardinals and Wilks as the news is available.