Panthers hire Ejiro Evero as new defensive coordinator

Mike Kaye, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Football

Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich has found his new defensive coordinator.

On Sunday, the Panthers agreed to terms with former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero to fill the same role in Carolina. Evero arrives in Carolina after interviewing with the Panthers, Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans for their head coach vacancies.

Evero, 42, was one of the few widespread candidates within this year’s coaching carousel, receiving interest for nearly every available opening, despite the fact that the Broncos fired his boss — first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett — midway through their first campaign together.

Despite the Broncos’ rough season on offense, Evero’s defensive unit shined, which turned him into an appealing candidate just one year into coordinating.

Here are three things you need to know about Evero:

Long road to get here


Evero — born in Colchester, England — grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California. He played safety for the University of California at Davis and went undrafted in 2004. He ended up signing with the then-Oakland Raiders but failed to make the roster. After his playing days were finished, Evero returned to UC Davis as an assistant coach in 2005. After two years of college coaching, he was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a defensive quality control coach in 2007.

After three seasons with the Buccaneers, he joined the staff at the University of Redlands as special teams coordinator and safeties coach in 2010. That stint only lasted a year, and he quickly latched on with the San Francisco 49ers in 2011. During his four years with the 49ers, Evero worked with both the offense and defense as a lower-level assistant coach.

He joined the Green Bay Packers as a quality control coach in 2016 before landing his first NFL position coach job in 2017 with Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams. Evero spent four seasons as the Rams’ safeties coach before being promoted to secondary coach and defensive passing game coordinator in 2021. He parlayed the success of the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI win into a defensive coordinator gig with the Broncos.

An ascending defensive play-caller


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