Dear Coach Rivera,
There are sooo many places to start. It’s been nine years since you first came to Carolina, and today, as the journey in Charlotte has come to an end, Panther Nation can honestly say that this team and this city are better off because of you. You’ve taken a small-market team to the national spotlight on multiple occasions, and you’ve led us to the biggest stages in football. Because of you, the Carolina Panthers are on the map.
On the football side, we’d like to thank you for the 76 wins since 2011, the division titles you’ve won, and of course, taking our team to the Super Bowl. As you leave, know that your players, fans, and members of the media have the utmost respect for you and the job you’ve done. The franchise has never seen a coach that has accomplished the amount you have, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Becoming the winningest coach in team history is no small deal, and Panthers fans across the country are thankful for each one of those victories. You’ve taken our team to the highest of highs, and prevented us from hitting the lowest of lows–in a league set up for teams to fail.
From the community’s perspective, you have undoubtedly made the city a better place. In your nearly-decade long tenure here, you accomplished more outside the lines than any other coach in Charlotte’s sports history. You’re someone young men can look up to, and you’ve been a strong leader in the community. Your care for the city has truly stood out and will not go unappreciated. Most importantly, your honesty, character, and integrity has shown your players what it means to be a man. Being a man isn’t about your facial hair, how much money you make, or the car you drive–it’s about caring, loving, honoring, and respecting those around you–all of which are things you’ve exemplified throughout your stay in Charlotte.
Taking all things into consideration, your nine years with the Panthers are the best nine years that Charlotte sports have ever seen, and can be labeled a wild success. In speaking of success, wins aren’t the only gauge of success–wins are huge–but life is bigger than football. It’s the way you’ve carried yourself on the sidelines, in front of the media, and in the locker room that makes you a success.
One last time, Coach Rivera, allow Panther Nation to thank you. Thank you for the wins, the losses, the ups, and the downs. Thank you for putting the city of Charlotte on the sports map, and thank you for bringing a winning culture. Lastly, allow us to thank you for the time, hard work, and dedication you’ve poured into this football team and the community. No matter where your endeavors take you, you’ll always have a home in the Carolinas. So long, Coach, and remember–Keep Pounding.
Best of Luck,
Panthers Fans everywhere