Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Black College News

Former J. C. Smith assistant new defensive coordinator for Carolina Panthers

Steve Wilks, the Carolina Panthers’ assistant head coach the past two seasons, has been named defensive coordinator. The position had been held the past six seasons by Sean McDermott, who left to become head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

Facing a rash of injuries and growing pains in the defensive backfield last season, the Panthers ranked 21st in the NFL in total defense. But from 2012-15, Wilks and the rest of the defensive coaching staff – which is expected to remain intact – played a prominent role on units that ranked among the NFL’s top 10 every year.

“As I sat around and talked to the defensive coaches earlier, I was telling those guys that this wasn’t Sean’s defense; this was our defense. We all had a hand in it,” Wilks said. “We’re not going to change anything scheme-wise. We’ll stick with the 4-3. We’re going to (add wrinkles) and do a few things in the offseason just like we always do after you evaluate the tape and figure out ways to improve. But overall, the scheme isn’t going to change.”

Wilks has been Carolina’s secondary coach since his arrival in 2012. Last season, in charge of a young group of defensive backs, he helped the Panthers rank second in the NFL with 17 interceptions. A Charlotte native, Wilks took over a unit in 2012 that ranked 24th in pass defense the previous season. During his five seasons directing the secondary, Carolina defensive backs returned 13 interceptions for touchdowns – tied for most in the NFL over that span.

Prior to the 2015 season, Wilks added assistant head coach to his title but will no longer serve in that role. He coached with Rivera in San Diego from 2009-10 and in Chicago in 2006 – the year Wilks debuted in the NFL after 11 seasons on the collegiate level that included three stints as a defensive coordinator.

Wilks, who attended West Charlotte High School and played at Appalachian State, began his coaching career at the CIAA’s Johnson C. Smith University as defensive coordinator in 1995 – the same year the Panthers debuted.

“It’s special in general because I’m one of 32 (defensive coordinators in the NFL), and to have it the opportunity to do it here at home, it’s almost surreal,” Wilks said. “I’m very fortunate, very blessed to be working with a great organization. I can recall when I was young working at Johnson C. Smith – cutting the grass, washing the clothes – dreaming of an opportunity like this one day to coach with the Carolina Panthers.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Please follow and like us:

NJG 2023 Calendar

Purchase Through Paypal

You may find these interesting


By Joseph Green-Bishop Texas Metro News Correspondent When Rihanna, the Barbadian-megastar and successful cosmetics and lingerie executive, took the Super Bowl LVII stage this...


Michael Anthony Scales moved to Hampton Roads, Virginia with his family after a big layoff at his previous job. While living in the area,...

Black Arts and Culture

By Jaelyn Scott Spring Intern New Journal and Guide Hazel Winifred Johnson was born on October 10, 1927, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She was...

Hampton Roads Community News

By Leonard E. Colvin Chief Reporter New Journal and Guide When the life of Yvonne Miller slows down, somehow, somewhere, someone will record her...

%d bloggers like this: