The Carolina Panthers were forced to make some changes on their coaching staff, moving Bruce DeHaven into a senior advisor role as he returns to Buffalo to receive cancer treatment. The named special team's assistant Thomas McGaughey the replacement to DeHaven and former Panthers' linebacker Chase Blackburn was named the assistant to McGaughey.
DeHaven is a veteran special teams coach and was entering his 29th season in the NFL in that role. He has been with the Panthers since 2013 and last year saw the group improve from 30th in the league in 2014 to 23rd last year, according to Football Outsider.
“Bruce is going to return home, and he’s going to continue with his therapy as he battles cancer,” Ron Rivera said. “Bruce wanted to do this. He felt now was the opportunity for us to transition.”
DeHaven has been battling this for some time now and he was forced to take a leave of absence last offseason for treatment. However, he was able to return in time for training camp and was able to coach through the entire 2015 season.
While, DeHaven does move into this new role, he is expected to still be heavily involved with the team and helping the special teams unit. Rivera said the plan is that DeHaven will return to the team in time for their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers on September 18th.