Written By Pro Football Writers Association Of America
Carolina's Ron Rivera, who led the Panthers to a 12-4 record and the NFC South title, was selected as the 2013 Coach of the Year, chosen in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
The Panthers started 1-3 on the season, and Carolina had dropped to 2-14 in games decided by a touchdown or less under Rivera since he took over as head coach in 2011. After Carolina's rough start, Rivera begin to take more calculated risks. The move worked, and it earned him the nickname of "Riverboat Ron."
The Panthers went on to win 11 of their final 12 games, including eight straight at one point. The Panthers converted on 10 of 13 fourth-down attempts (77 percent), which led the league for teams with 10 or more attempts. Several of his players said the decisions led to them playing with more confidence. The Panthers qualified for the NFC playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season.
Rivera is the first Panthers head coach to earn the PFWA's Coach of the Year award since Dom Capers won it in back-to-back years in 1995-96. He also earned the PFWA's Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2005 while with the Chicago Bears. The PFWA has named a NFL Coach of the Year since 1990 and gave separate AFC and NFC awards from 1970-89.
PFWA NFL COACH OF THE YEAR: 1970 AFC - Paul Brown, Cincinnati Bengals; 1970 NFC - Dick Nolan, San Francisco 49ers; 1971 AFC - Don Shula, Miami Dolphins; 1971 NFC - George Allen, Washington Redskins; 1972 AFC - Don Shula, Miami Dolphins; 1972 NFC - Dan Devine, Green Bay Packers; 1973 AFC - John Ralston, Denver Broncos; 1973 NFC - Chuck Knox, Los Angeles Rams; 1974 AFC - Sid Gilman, Houston Oilers; 1974 NFC - Don Coryell, St. Louis Cardinals; 1975 AFC - Ted Marchibroda, Baltimore Colts; 1975 NFC - Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys; 1976 AFC - Chuck Fairbanks, New England Patriots; 1976 NFC - Jack Pardee, Chicago Bears; 1977 AFC - Red Miller, Denver Broncos; 1977 NFC - Leeman Bennett, Atlanta Falcons; 1978 AFC - Walt Michaels, New York Jets; 1978 NFC - Dick Vermeil, Philadelphia Eagles; 1979 AFC - Don Coryell, San Diego Chargers; 1979 NFC - Dick Vermeil, Philadelphia Eagles; 1980 AFC - Chuck Knox, Buffalo Bills; 1980 NFC - Leeman Bennett, Atlanta Falcons; 1981 AFC - Forrest Gregg, Cincinnati Bengals; 1981 NFC - Bill Walsh, San Francisco 49ers; 1982 AFC - Tom Flores, Los Angeles Raiders; 1982 NFC - Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins; 1983 AFC - Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers; 1983 NFC - Joe Gibbs, Washington Redskins; 1984 AFC - Chuck Knox, Seattle Seahawks; 1984 NFC - Bill Walsh, San Francisco 49ers; 1985 AFC - Raymond Berry, New England Patriots; 1985 NFC - Mike Ditka, Chicago Bears; 1986 AFC - Marty Schottenheimer, Cleveland Browns; 1986 NFC - Bill Parcells, New York Giants; 1987 AFC - Ron Meyer, New England Patriots; 1987 NFC - Jim Mora, New Orleans Saints; 1988 AFC - Sam Wyche, Cincinnati Bengals; 1988 NFC - Mike Ditka, Chicago Bears; 1989 AFC - Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers; 1989 NFC - Lindy Infante, Green Bay Packers; 1990 - Art Shell, Los Angeles Raiders; 1991 - Wayne Fontes, Detroit Lions; 1992 - Bobby Ross, San Diego Chargers; 1993 - Dan Reeves, New York Giants; 1994 - Bill Parcells, New England Patriots; 1995 - Dom Capers, Carolina Panthers; 1996 - Dom Capers, Carolina Panthers; 1997 - Jim Fassel, New York Giants; 1998 - Dan Reeves, Atlanta Falcons; 1999 - Dick Vermeil, St. Louis Rams; 2000 - Jim Haslett, New Orleans Saints; 2001 - Dick Jauron, Chicago Bears; 2002 - Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles; 2003 - Bill Belichick, New England Patriots; 2004 - Marty Schottenheimer, San Diego Chargers; 2005 - Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears; 2006 - Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints; 2007 - Bill Belichick, New England Patriots; 2008 - Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins; 2009 - Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals; 2010 - Bill Belichick, New England Patriots; 2011 - Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers; 2012 - Bruce Arians, Indianapolis Colts; 2013 - Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers.
Pro Football Writers Association Of America