The Carolina Panthers have fired coach Ron Rivera with four games remaining in his ninth season with the team.
Four years removed from leading the Panthers to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance, Rivera departs a Carolina team that is 5-7 and likely to miss the postseason for the second straight season, despite having the NFL's No. 2 rusher in Christian McCaffrey (1,167 yards). Quarterback Cam Newton, a former league MVP, hasn't played since Week 2 because of a foot injury.
Rivera was 76-63-1 with the Panthers.
"I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team," Panthers owner Daivd Tepper said in a statement. "I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers."
Secondary coach Perry Fewell will serve as interim head coach, with offensive coordinator Norv Turner transitioning to special assistant to the head coach. Quarterbacks coach Scott Turner is the new offensive coordinator.