Frank Reich, a former Charlotte, North Carolina pastor and retired Quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, has been named the team’s new head coach.
“#Panthers agree to terms with Frank Reich to become new head coach,” the team tweeted last week.
As reported by Sports Spectrum, Reich has agreed to a 4-year contract with the Panthers. The deal is expected to be finalized Monday, and he will deliver his first press conference on Tuesday.
“[Frank Reich is] a great person,” the Panthers’ first-ever general manager, Bill Polian, told ESPN. “He’s a really good football coach. He’s a great motivator. He’s a guy that connects very, very well to players. He’s tremendously organized. And he has a great football mind.”
Reich, who was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2018-22, threw the first-ever touchdown during the Panthers’ 1995 inaugural season. He was first drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1985 and played as a quarterback for 13 years in the NFL. Despite being positioned as a backup for Buffalo, Reich helped the team overcome a 35-3 deficit to defeat the Houston Oilers in what until recently, was considered the greatest NFL comeback of all time.
He also played for the New York Jets for one season and the Detroit Lions for two seasons before retiring and moving back to Charlotte.
Reich, 61, has been a devout follower of Jesus Christ throughout his career. He earned a Master of Divinity at the Charlotte campus of Reformed Theological Seminary. From 2003 to 2006, he served as the school’s Charlotte campus president. He later served as a pastor at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, now called Ballantyne Presbyterian. He left the church in 2007 to join the coaching staff for the Indianapolis Colts.
In December 2019, Reich was a guest on the “Beyond the Game” podcast, where co-host and NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dungy asked him about his coaching platform.
“The No. 1 goal is to magnify the name of Jesus Christ first and foremost above all things,” Reich said at the time. “Whether it was in ministry or in coaching, no matter what I was going to choose to do, that was going to be my mission in life. … I really thought [ministry] might be it, but at the end of the day, I don’t think that was God’s calling on my life.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.