Inside the Panthers

Ron Rivera finalizes his Panthers coaching staff by hiring 2 line coaches

Former Michigan head coach head coach Brady Hoke has been hired by the Carolina Panthers to coach the defensive line.
Former Michigan head coach head coach Brady Hoke has been hired by the Carolina Panthers to coach the defensive line. AP

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has finalized his new-look coaching staff by hiring a former college head coach and an ex-Panthers offensive lineman.

Brady Hoke, who was 31-20 in four seasons as Michigan’s coach, will be the Panthers’ defensive line coach, and former Panther Travelle Wharton will coach the offensive line, team sources confirmed Monday.

It’s the first NFL job for Hoke, who was Tennessee’s interim head coach for two games this past season after Butch Jones was fired. Hoke has a career college record of 78-70 in 13 seasons, with stints at Ball State and San Diego State before he was hired in Ann Arbor.

He led the Wolverines to an 11-win season, including a Sugar Bowl victory, during his first season in 2011. But Michigan’s win total dropped in each of Hoke’s final three seasons.

He is the second college coach to join the Panthers’ defensive staff, joining former Air Force defensive coordinator Steve Russ, who was hired last week as linebackers coach.

Travelle Wharton
Former Carolina Panthers guard Travelle Wharton (70) is returning to the team as an assistant offensive line coach. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Wharton, 36, was the Panthers’ third-round pick in 2004 and played 10 seasons during two stints with Carolina before retiring in 2014. The former University of South Carolina standout returned to Columbia in 2015 as a quality control before getting promoted to offensive line coach midway through the season. He was a coaching intern for the Panthers in 2017.

Wharton replaces Ray Brown, who left with former defensive coordinator Steve Wilks for Arizona, and will work with longtime assistant John Matsko.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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