LR Fewell and Pope

Perry Fewell (left) poses for a photo with former NFL tight ends coach Mike Pope in 2012. Both are alumni of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

HICKORY — Lenoir-Rhyne University alum Perry Fewell (class of '85) was named the interim head coach for the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday.

This marks the second time in his career that Fewell has been an interim head coach in the NFL, also holding that position for the Buffalo Bills in 2009 when he finished with a 3-4 record. 

Fewell played fullback, linebacker and defensive back for the Bears during his playing career which spanned 1980-83. During his senior season, Fewell was named the team's most improved player, and he was inducted into the L-R Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Fewell has been a coach for 35 years, including 22 season in the NFL. Fewell owns a Super Bowl ring as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in 2011.

Fewell started his coaching career at the collegiate level and held positions at: North Carolina (1985-88), Army (1987, 1992-94), Kent State (1988-91) and Vanderbilt (1995-97) before moving on to the professional ranks. In the NFL, Fewell coached in: Jacksonville (1998-02), St. Louis (2003-04), Chicago (2005), Buffalo (2006-09), New York Giants (2010-14), Washington (2015-16), Jacksonville (2017-18) and Carolina (2019). 

Fewell, a Cramerton native, was also inducted into the Belmont Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 after he helped lead South Point to the 1979 NCHSAA 3A state title.

He will make his Panthers head coaching debut on Sunday at 1 p.m. as the Panthers head to Atlanta for an NFC South matchup. 

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