The deal that will see the coach with the Panthers through the 2017 season came less than four months after pay per head sportsbooks thought that Rivera might not last through the 2013 season after a 1-3 start. Rivera, 52-years-old, was able to secure the extension after Carolina rallied to win 8 straight and 11 of their last 12 regular-season games, winning the NFC South and getting a first-round bye with a record of 12-4.
Price per head services saw that Rivera went from the hot seat of coaching to becoming a finalist for the NFL Coach of the Year Award, to be announced in New York City on Saturday.
“The improvement of our team has been reflected in the progress of the record over the last three seasons under Ron and we look forward to building upon that foundation,” Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in a statement.
He took over a team that was 2-14 under John Fox – now the coach of the Denver Broncos – in 2010. In Rivera’s first two seasons, the Panthers went 6-10 and 7-9.
The team started 0-2 this season – something that led to speculation amongst many fans and pay per head sportsbooks that the coach might not make it through the bye week. Carolina finished 12-5 after losing 23-10 to San Francisco in the NFC divisional round.
“The team has shown improvement under Ron each year and he is deserving of the recognition that he has received for the 2013 season,” general manager Dave Gettleman said. “We are pleased and excited with the continuity this extension brings.”
Rivera was moving into the last year of a four-year contract that was worth $11.2 million. His extension’s monetary details were not immediately available.
“I have been very clear about how much I have enjoyed living in Charlotte and working for this organization,” Rivera said.
“I very much appreciate the support and confidence Mr. Richardson and Dave Gettleman have shown in me and our staff.
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“Any success we have enjoyed is the result of a team effort by players, coaches, scouts and the entire organization, and our ultimate goal remains winning the Super Bowl.”