Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor is leaving for the same position with the Panthers. They announced the agreement Thursday.
Tabor was an assistant special teams coach for the Bears from 2008 through ’10 under coach Lovie Smith and returned as a coordinator when Matt Nagy took over in 2018.
The Bears were ninth in longtime NFL writer Rick Gosselin’s annual special teams rankings each of the last two seasons. Meanwhile, the Panthers were 28th this season.
Tabor helped steer the Bears out of their skid at kicker after Cody Parkey struggled in 2018 and Eddy Pineiro got hurt after a solid 2019 season. Tabor coached kicker Cairo Santos as he set the franchise record for field-goal accuracy in 2020 at 93.9%, and he followed by making 86.7% this season.
Tabor also took over the Bears as acting head coach when Nagy tested positive for the coronavirus and missed the Week 8 game against the 49ers.
With the Bears hiring Matt Eberflus as their new coach Thursday, there figures to be significant — if not total — turnover on the coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Sean Desai has already interviewed for another job, and it seems unlikely Eberflus will retain offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.