Steve Wilks named head coach of Arizona Cardinals

Wilks' departure, which coach Ron Rivera said he expected after the season, means the Panthers will have three new coordinators next season.

Wilks will be introduced to the media during a press conference in Tempe on Tuesday.

Steve Wilks, who just completed his first season as Carolina's defensive coordinator, is leaving to become head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

If Wilks is indeed named head coach, the Cardinals, Arizona State and Arizona will have all hired African American head coaches in less than two months' time. Wilks spent five seasons as Panthers secondary coach before his promotion a year ago.

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Prior to signing on with the Panthers, Wilks was the defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears (2006-2008) and then the San Diego Chargers (2009-2011).

Washington has spent the last seven years as the Panthers defensive line coach and had a very successful run, as no defense has had more sacks than Carolina since the 2012-13 campaign.

Wilks, who is available right now, is a top-end candidate, nearly reminiscent of the Bruce Arians hire for the Cardinals in 2013. Still, he's highly regarded in National Football League circles, with the Tennessee Titans and New York Giants also speaking to him about their head coaching vacancies. The team released a statement making the hire official Monday afternoon after Wilks had a second interview with the team over the weekend. Fortunately for Wilks, Arizona boasts the tandem of cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Tyrann Mathieu.

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