Panthers coach Ron Rivera is turning to a longtime mentor to be his new offensive coordinator: Norv Turner.
A source confirmed to Sporting News on Tuesday that Turner will replace Mike Shula, who was fired earlier in the day in the aftermath of Carolina’s first-round playoff loss to the Saints. Shula had served as Carolina’s offensive coordinator the past three seasons after being promoted from quarterbacks coach in 2015.
Turner and Rivera became close during the former’s time coaching the then-San Diego Chargers. Rivera served as linebackers coach in 2007 and defensive coordinator from 2008-10 before becoming Carolina’s head coach in 2011.
Turner, 65, hasn’t coached since resigning as the Vikings' offensive coordinator during the 2016 season; however, a source told Sporting News he was amenable to returning elsewhere under the right circumstances.
There is a possibility Turner’s son Scott may leave the University of Michigan for a Panthers staff position. Carolina has a vacancy at quarterbacks coach after Ken Dorsey was also fired Tuesday.
Norv Turner’s brother, Ron, was hired by Rivera last summer as a consultant to the coaching staff. Ron's son Cam is Carolina’s assistant quarterbacks coach.
Norv Turner was regarded as one of the NFL’s most respected offensive minds during 31 seasons in the league. He compiled a 114-122-1 record in 15 years as head coach of the Chargers, Redskins and Raiders. Turner’s clubs made four playoff appearances, with his 2007 Chargers squad making the AFC championship game.