According to Charlotte Observer's Joe Person, the Carolina Panthers have hired Thomas McGaughey to assist on special teams. He was one of three candidates who were interviewed for the position this week and the team chose McGaughey over Kevin O'Dea and Chase Blackburn.
McGaughey will be replacing Russ Purnell, who was brought on last offseason and filled in when Bruce DeHaven took a medical leave of absence. The team decided to not renew Purnell's contract after the season. As Person wrote, head coach Ron Rivera wanted to bring in someone younger to help DeHaven, who will continue to oversee the special teams.
McGaughey has found success, both at the NFL and collegiate level coaching special teams. He started his career with the NY Giants coaching from 2007 to 2010 and was part of the Giants' Super Bowl team in 2007. He then went on to take the position of special teams coordinator at LSU for three seasons and helped them win a SEC Championship in 2011.
He returned to the NFL in 2014 as special teams coordinator for the NY Jets and spent last season with the San Francisco 49ers. However, when the 49ers hired Chip Kelly this offseason, McGaughey was not retained by the new head coach.
Last week, the announcement that Purnell would not return wasn't the only change the Panthers made to their coaching staff. Fox Sports' Alex Marvez tweeted that Curtis Fuller, who had helped the special teams staff in 2015, would turn his focus entirely to the defensive backs.