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BREAKING: Panthers hire Shula to lead offense

January 18, 2013

(O-N-E file photo by Kurt Barkley)

The Carolina Panthers are turning over the keys to their offense to the son of an NFL Hall of Fame coach.

Mike Shula was promoted to offensive coordinator on Friday, the team announced.

The 47-year-old Shula replaces Rob Chudzinski, who stepped down Jan. 10 to take the Cleveland Browns head coaching position.

Shula spent the past two seasons as the quarterbacks coach for the Carolina Panthers.

"I am excited about working with our offense in a more expanded role as offensive coordinator," Shula said in a statement on the team's website on Friday. "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 is the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, who led the Miami Dolphins to Super Bowl titles in 1972 and 1973.

After playing in one NFL season with Tampa Bay in 1987, Mike Shula began his coaching career as an offensive assistant with Bucs one year later.

That was the start of a journey for Shula that continued 14-straight years through the NFL.

Shula's first tenure in the National Football League included stops in Miami as a coaches' assistant from 1991-92 and Chicago Bears as a tight end's coach from 1993-95.

In 1996, Mike Shula returned to Tampa Bay, taking over as the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator — his first reigns in such a position.

Following the 1999 season, Shula became the quarterbacks coach with the Miami Dolphins.

In 2003, Shula journey to the collegiate ranks where he was named as the head coach at the University of Alabama. He remained there through 2006, leading the Crimson Tide to 26-23 overall record in his four years as head coach.

Shula was also 1-1 in bowl games with Alabama, winning the Cotton Bowl in 2005.

Since his stint coaching in college, Mike Shula returned to the NFL to serve as quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville (2007-10).

Mike Shula first joined the Panthers in 2011 and has spent the past two seasons as the quarterbacks coach with former No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton.

In his first two seasons, Newton has recorded 7,920 passing yards, 1,447 rushing yards and a combined 62 total touchdowns (40 passing, 22 rushing).

"After going through the interview process, we feel that Mike's familiarity with our offense and personnel lends itself to the offensive coordinator position," said Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. "He has the experience and knowledge to step in and provide continuity in an area that has been productive over the past two years."

On top of the decision to promote Shula to offensive coordinator, the Panthers also elevated Ricky Proehl from assistant to head wide receivers coach.

Proehl, a former wideout for Carolina from 2003-05, spent 17 years in the NFL. He also played for the Cardinals, Seahawks, Bears, Rams and Colts before retiring in 2006.

In the team's third and final move of the day, Richard Rodgers was retained as Carolina's special teams coordinator.

Rodgers moved up to special teams coordinator from special teams assistant after Brian Murphy was fired by the team on Nov. 12, 2012.

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