The Carolina Panthers today hired Ron Meeks, formally of the Indianapolis Colts, as defensive coordinator.
In his seven seasons with the Colts, Indianapolis finished in the top seven in points allowed five times. They were seventh in points allowed last season while finishing 11th in yards allowed.
Meeks resigned from the Colts on Jan 20, eight days after former head coach Tony Dungy announced his retirement. Dungy hired Meeks in 2002.
“This is a great opportunity,” Meeks said in a press release on the Panthers’ website. “I have followed the Panthers from my involvement in football and they have done a great job over the years. I expect to continue that success and will try to improve on what has been done.”
Meeks replaces Mike Trgovac, who last week told the Panthers he would not return next season.
“We are very pleased to add Ron to our coaching staff as defensive coordinator,” head coach John Fox said in the press release. “He is an outstanding teacher, who has enjoyed great success as a coordinator in the league and brings a strong background of coaching championship defenses.”
Meeks, 54, joined the Colts in 2002 and helped Indianapolis move from 29th to eighth in total defense while jumping from 31st to seventh in scoring defense his first season. In 2007 the Colts led the league in scoring defense.
In 2006, Meeks worked through injuries on a defense that peaked during a Super Bowl championship run, holding three of four postseason opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground.
Meeks began his coaching career with Dallas in 1991 as a defensive assistant before becoming secondary coach at Cincinnati from 1992-1996 and Atlanta from 1997-1999. He also spent a season in Washington (2000) and with the St. Louis Rams’ NFC Championship team in 2001 before going to Indianapolis as defensive coordinator, according to the Panthers’ website.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Meeks started his coaching career at his alma mater of Arkansas State in 1984 and also coached at the University of Miami (1986-87), New Mexico State (1988), and Fresno State (1989-1990) before joining the Cowboys.