Panthers Promote Skipper

Coach John Fox announced today that running backs coach Jim Skipper has been promoted to assistant head coach. Skipper has been the Panthers' running backs coach since Fox became the head coach in 2002.

"We're making our running backs coach, Jim Skipper, the assistant head coach," Fox said after today's mini camp practice. "We didn't have one last year. He's a guy that I've coached with for 10 years now. He's on the field. He's really involved in game management, particularly with the time."

Skipper and Fox coached together while with the New York Giants, and is often one of the coaches Fox leans on when he needs a hand. Last year, Skipper ran the team when Fox was out on a few occasions.

"I had a couple of occasions where I went to funeral services, and Skip did that (oversaw practice)," Fox said. "In hindsight, I wish I had done it last year, but with the changeover and stuff, it was kind of late. I just wanted to make it official now."

Skipper has never been a head coach in the NFL despite 18 years of NFL experience and 30 years coaching experience, however he was the head coach of the XFL's San Francisco Demons in 2001. Coach Fox feels like Skipper's days as an assistant are numbered. "Skip has had one head coaching opportunity, and he took his team (San Francisco Demons) to that League's (XFL) championship game," said Fox. "He's got great leadership skills. I think he's done an outstanding job with our running backs and really with our football team. In my mind, there is no question he has that ability."

If the Panthers produce another solid year rushing the ball in 2006, Skipper might see his opportunity in 2007.

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