NFL coaching news: Pat Shurmur to Giants; Steve Wilks to Cardinals

SHARE NFL coaching news: Pat Shurmur to Giants; Steve Wilks to Cardinals
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New Giants coach Pat Shurmur (left) and new Panthers coach Steve Wilks. | AP photos

Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was hired as the New York Giants’ head coach, and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilksis the new coach of the Cardinals.

The Giants announced the hiring late Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Shurmur and the Vikings were beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game.

The 52-year-old Shurmur replaces Ben McAdoo, who was fired in early December with the team mired with a 2-10 record and owners and fans upset with his handling of the benching of two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took over for the final four games and posted a 1-3 record.

“He has an outstanding track record in developing young players, and it is clear his players respond to his guidance and direction,” co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said in a statement.

“We interviewed six talented and qualified candidates, and we feel like Pat, with his vision and experience, is the right person to lead our team.”

The Giants won’t officially introduce Shurmur until Friday. A winter storm in the Midwest is preventing him from coming to New Jersey on Tuesday and he will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, from Tuesday night through Thursday.

Shurmur returns to the head coaching ranks for the first time since leading the Cleveland Browns in 2011-12. He takes over a troubled team that posted a 3-13 record a year after making the playoffs.

Wilks won’t tread meekly into his new job.

“Steve’s personality is as an aggressive guy,” his ex-boss, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, said.

Wilks, 48, spent last season as defensive coordinator of the Panthers after five seasons as the team’s secondary coach. He’s been an NFL assistant for 12 years.

Wilks replaces the colorful and outspoken Bruce Arians, who retired after five seasons and compiled a franchise-record 50 victories.

With the hiring of Wilks, all three major football programs in the state have African-American coaches — Wilks, Herm Edwards at Arizona State and Kevin Sumlin at Arizona. Wilks is the Cardinals’ second African-American coach (Dennis Green was the first) and the only minority candidate to get an NFL head coaching job this hiring cycle.

The Cardinals were 8-8 last season despite a myriad of significant injuries and closed out Arians’ career with a win in Seattle.

“This is not really a rebuild, this is a retool,” Wilks told azcardinals.com. “We have the culture of winning here. We just have to be able to sustain it. It’s all about trying to get to the next level and the consistency you need to get to the next level.”

Patrick Peterson, perennial Pro Bowl cornerback and a leader of the Arizona defense, tweeted simply “I LOVE IT.”

Azcardinals.com released a brief video of Wilks talking to Arizona fans.

“I’d like to introduce myself to the ‘Bird Gang,’” he said. “This is your head coach Steve Wilks. I’m so excited about building something great here. It’s all about trying to create a commitment to excellence and I can’t wait to see you guys at the Red Sea.”

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