Carolina Panthers

Source: Panthers hire experienced Thomas McGaughey to assist with special teams

Thomas McGaughey Jr.
Thomas McGaughey Jr. AP

The Carolina Panthers have added a longtime NFL and college coach to assist with their special teams.

Thomas McGaughey, who ran San Francisco’s special teams this season, will join Ron Rivera’s staff after being hired Thursday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

McGaughey, 42, was one of three candidates to interview for the position, along with ex-Tampa Bay assistant Kevin O’Dea and former Giants and Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn.

McGaughey has ties to Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman.

He was the Giants’ assistant special teams coordinator in 2007-10 while Gettleman oversaw New York’s pro personnel department. McGaughey won a Super Bowl ring during his first season with the Giants.

McGaughey parlayed his success with the Giants into special teams coordinator positions with Louisiana State and the NFL’s New York Jets and 49ers. McGaughey is an Illinois native who played defensive back at the University of Houston.

He replaces Russ Purnell, 67, the assistant whose contract was not renewed last week. Purnell was hired last summer after special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven took a medical leave of absence.

Rivera said he wanted to bring in a younger coach to work with DeHaven, who has been having treatment for prostate cancer. DeHaven, 67, who has more than three decades of NFL coaching experience, will continue to oversee the special teams.