The Carolina Panthers have wasted no time in filling the defensive coordinator position that was vacated by Mike Trgovac. Just four days after the two abruptly parted ways, former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks has been hired by the team.
Meeks has spent the last seven seasons as a part of one of the most consistent football teams in history. The Colts made the playoffs in each of the seven seasons that Meeks was the defensive coordinator, during which time Tony Dungy was the head coach.
Dungy and Meeks won five straight AFC South titles from 2003-07 and won the Super Bowl in 2006. During his tenure in Indianapolis, Meeks had the Colts' defense in the top seven in points allowed five times, and coached the top scoring defense of 2007.
Meeks got his start in the NFL as a part of the Dallas Cowboys staff during the 1991 season. He would go on to be the secondary coach for the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals before becoming an assistant for the St. Louis Rams in their 2001 NFC Championship season.
Meeks' experience in the secondary could prove to be useful for the Panthers, who showed major weaknesses in that area of the game down the stretch in 2008.
“He’s an outstanding teacher who has enjoyed great success as a coordinator in the league and brings a strong background of coaching championship defenses,” said Panthers coach John Fox. Fox is faced with the challenge of filling five coaching positions; all vacated since their 33-13 home loss to Arizona in the playoffs.
Meeks is the first and most significant hire on the defensive side of the ball, and is looking forward to the challenge. “This is a great opportunity,” Meeks said in a statement. “I have followed the Panthers from my involvement in football and they have done a great job over the years. I expect to continue that success while trying to improve as well.”