Ron Rivera is losing one of his most trusted sideline voices.
Longtime Panthers running backs coach Jim Skipper is retiring from the NFL the team announced on Wednesday.
Skipper, 70, has been with the Panthers for 15 of the last 17 seasons, bridging the gap between the John Fox and Ron Rivera eras in Carolina. He has over 32 years of NFL coaching experience with five different franchises.
That experience will certainly be missed, as Skipper was someone who Rivera leaned on heavily during games.
“He’s one of the guys I’ve relied on for the past six seasons.” Rivera told the team website just one week ago, when responding to a question about the structure of his coaching staff.
To counter the loss of Skipper, the Panthers have hired Alabama assistant Jake Peetz as running backs coach, according to the MMQB, citing an unidentified source.
Source: The Panthers have hired Alabama assistant Jake Peetz to replace Jim Skipper as running backs coach. Peetz was Raiders QBs coach in ’17.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 20, 2019
Skipper guided a rushing attack that saw Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams become the first pair of teammates to run for 1,000 yards in the same season (2009).
The Panthers finished in the top-10 in rushing offense over Skipper’s final five seasons.