Mike Shula is now the Carolina Panthers’ offensive coordinator. (AP photo by Rob Carr)
Former Alabama head coach Mike Shula
, who was fired in 2006 to make way for Nick Saban, is getting a promotion. Here’s the Associated Press story:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — After 14 years Mike Shula is getting another chance to run an NFL offense.
The Carolina Panthers named Shula as their new offensive coordinator today. Shula served as the team’s quarterbacks coach the last two seasons, working with former Auburn standout Cam Newton.
The Panthers chose to hire from within after interviewing candidates from outside the organization.
“After going through the interview process we feel that Mike’s familiarity with our offense and personnel lends itself to the offensive coordinator position,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “He has the experience and knowledge to step in and provide continuity in an area that has been productive over the past two years.”
Shula takes over for Rob Chudzinski, who left to become the Cleveland Browns’ head coach.
Shula said he was anxious to get another shot at being an offensive coordinator.
The last time didn’t work out so well.
He spent four seasons (1996-99) as the offensive coordinator at Tampa Bay, but the Bucs finished 29th in total offense, 27th in points scored and last in the league in passing, according to STATS INC. They never finished better than 22nd in total offense in any of those four seasons.
However, this time around he has the versatile Newton running the offense.
“I am excited about working with our offense in a more expanded role as offensive coordinator,” said Shula, the son of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula. “There are a number of pieces in place for a good offense and our goal is to build on the momentum we had at the end of last season.”
Shula has helped with the development of Newton, who was named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011 and who improved statistically in his second season. The Panthers have been ranked seventh and 12th in total offense the past two years.
Shula has 20 years of NFL coaching experience. He coached Alabama during 2003-2006, including a 10-2 season in 2005.