Dom Capers, Josh McCown joining Frank Reich's Carolina Panthers coaching staff

Frank Reich is filling out his Carolina Panthers coaching staff with some familiar names.

Josh McCown and Dom Capers are joining the Panthers as assistant coaches, the Panthers announced on Friday. McCown will work as Carolina's quarterbacks coach while Capers joins Reich's staff as a senior defensive assistant. Both have previous ties to the franchise.

McCown, 43, gets his first NFL coaching job after 16 seasons as a player in the league. He played quarterback for nine different teams from 2002-19, splitting his time as a starter and a backup. He was a backup for the Panthers from 2008-09. A third-round selection by the Arizona Cardinals, he was the longest-tenured player in his draft class.

McCown was a surprise finalist for the Houston Texans opening last season despite having no coaching experience of any kind beyond the high school level. The Texans instead hired Lovie Smith, whom they fired after one season in favor of new head coach DeMeco Ryans. McCown will run a quarterback room that's in flux after Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and P.J. Tucker all took turns at starter last season.

10 Sep 1995:  Head coach Dom Capers of the Carolina Panthers during a 31-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport
Dom Capers, seen here during Carolina's debut season in 1995, (Rick Stewart/Getty/Allsport)

Panthers return to their first-ever head coach

Capers returns to the franchise that hired him as its first head coach. The Panthers initially hired Capers to lead the team in its inaugural 1995 season. He spent four seasons in Charlotte that included a surprise run to the NFC West title and a trip to the NFC championship game in the second year of the franchise's existence.

Capers went on to coach the Texans for four seasons from 2002-06. He's also worked as the defensive coordinator for Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers in an NFL coaching career that dates back to 1992. He most recently worked as a senior defensive assistant for the Denver Broncos in 2022.