Ron Rivera returning for 3rd season as Panthers coach

Nearly a week after he finished with a better record than his team produced in his first season, Ron Rivera has been informed he will be retained as coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reported the news. Rivera didn’t learn his fate until a meeting today with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, a man notorious for operating on his own timetable.

The Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints last Sunday to finish 7-9 – a one-game improvement over the 6-10 mark the team had in his first season. Carolina won five of its last six games and the offense was clicking under quarterback Cam Newton in the second half of the season.

But for some reason Richardson, who can now place his focus on the search for a general manager, made Rivera hang in the balance for six days. We’ll see if changes are coming to the coaching staff. Rivera will now have to work for a GM that did not hire him and those situations can always be tricky. The Panthers need some personnel upgrades.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune