The team reportedly came to the decision of parting ways with Hurney based on concerns over philosophical differences. Hurney’s contract was set to expire in June of next year.
“You look at successful organizations, and there’s a certain alignment between the head coach and the GM,” team owner David Tepper said in a statement. “To think that you can do that without some sort of alignment is nuts. So to not have a head coach with some input into that is stupid. I don’t want to be stupid, OK?”
“I think sometimes you just need a restart, a refresh,” Tepper said, citing recent conversations with Hurney that indicated they weren’t on the same page. “We did it last year on the coaching side. Maybe you could say it should have been done before on the GM side. Maybe it should have been. I’m sure people may say that, or otherwise, on both sides.
The Panthers are projected to be in line for a top-five draft pick, and will be taking on the task of reshaping their entire front office this offseason. Carolina currently sits at 4-10.
“I think it’s just time, on both sides, to do that. It just seems like the right time to move forward.”
“This team could easily have another four wins,” Tepper said. “The eight games that we had the ball last to win or tie — seven to win, one to tie — if you win four of those games, you’re in a totally different position right now with this young team. So looking at next year, I’m very hopeful where we will be and what we will do.”
The firing marks the end of Hurney’s long tenure, and second stint with the organization, that initially started back in 1998. Hurney was fired five games into the 2012 and brought back in when former general manager Dave Gettleman was fired in 2017.