The Carolina Panthers have appointed Dave Canales, formerly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator, as their new head coach. Canales, 42, brings a reputation for success and innovation, with a history of working alongside newly appointed Panthers President of Football Operations/General Manager Dan Morgan during their eight-year tenure in Seattle.
Panthers owner David Tepper expressed confidence in Canales, highlighting his innovative mindset and positive energy that resonates well with players and staff. Canales played a pivotal role in the Buccaneers’ recent success, guiding quarterback Baker Mayfield to an NFC South title and a playoff win following Tom Brady’s retirement.
Having spent 13 years with the Seattle Seahawks, Canales worked his way up from receivers coach to quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. His successful coaching with Geno Smith in 2022, where Smith became a Pro Bowler and NFL Comeback Player of the Year, positions him well to lead the Panthers’ offense, particularly addressing the struggles of former No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young.
Canales is expected to continue calling plays, reporting directly to owner David Tepper. His appointment makes him the only active Hispanic coach in the league, the second in Panthers history, and the fifth in NFL history, joining the ranks of Ron Rivera, Brian Flores, Tom Flores, and Tom Fears.
The move marks a strategic step for the Panthers, seeking stability and guidance for their young quarterback. Canales’ success with Mayfield and his experience with diverse position groups align with the franchise’s vision for building a successful team. The Panthers anticipate positive outcomes under Canales’ leadership as they aim for a revival in the upcoming seasons.