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Ron Rivera will coach Carolina Panthers, source says

January 11, 2011 | 12:59 pm

Rivera_300 San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera is set to become the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers, the Associated Press is reporting.

A person familiar with the situation said Rivera and the Panthers have reached an agreement in principle and were working out contract details Tuesday.

The Panthers fired John Fox, their coach for nine years, following a 2-14 season.

Rivera, 49, played linebacker for Chicago and was the Bears' defensive coordinator from 2004-06. He has been with the Chargers since midway through the 2008 season.

He is of Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage and will be the second Latino head coach in NFL history, following ex-Raiders coach Tom Flores.

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Ron Rivera. Credit: Denis Poroy / Associated Press