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Titans Interview Steve Wilks for Head Coaching Job


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans on Thursday completed an interview with Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks for the team's head coaching position.

Here's what you need to know about Wilks:

Age: 48.

Alma mater: Appalachian State.

Most recent positions:

• Assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, Carolina Panthers, 2017

• Assistant head coach/defensive backs coach, Carolina Panthers, 2015-2016

• Defensive backs coach, Carolina Panthers, 2012-2014

• Defensive backs coach, San Diego Chargers, 2009-2011

• Defensive backs coach, Chicago Bears, 2006-2008

• Also spent time as an assistant coach at the collegiate ranks at Washington (2005), Notre Dame (2004), Bowling Green (2003), East Tennessee State (2002), Appalachian State (2001), Illinois State (2000), Savannah State (1997-1999) and Johnson C. Smith (1995-1996).


• The Panthers finished seventh in the NFL in total defense in 2017, including third overall vs the run and 18th vs the pass. Carolina was 11th in the NFL in points allowed per game. The Panthers were third in the NFL in sacks in 2017.

• In 2015, the Panthers advanced to the Super Bowl, and the team's secondary played a big role in helping them get there. The Panthers led the NFL in interceptions (25), total takeaways (24) and turnover differential (plus-20) that season. Despite injuries to several defensive backs, Carolina limited opposing quarterbacks to an NFL-low 73.5 passer rating and ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense – the team's fourth consecutive top-10 finish

• The Panthers defense has finished in the top 10 in yards allowed in five of Wilks' six seasons with the team.

• Wilks worked under Ron Rivera during his days as defensive coordinator in San Diego and Chicago, and he joined Rivera on his staff in Carolina.

• In San Diego, Wilks oversaw the secondary from 2009-11. Prior to Wilks' arrival in San Diego, the Chargers ranked 31st in the NFL against the pass but finished 11th in 2009, first in 2010 and 13th in 2011 under his tutelage.

• Wilks played defensive back at Appalachian State from 1987-91 and finished his career with 103 tackles, four interceptions and four blocked kicks.

• Wilks attended training camp with the Seattle Seahawks in 1992 and played defensive back and wide receiver for the Charlotte Rage of the Arena Football League in 1993.

• Wilks graduated from Appalachian State with a degree in communications.

• Titans director of player personnel Ryan Cowden spent time with Wilks in Carolina when he worked in the team's scouting department.

Why he'd be a good fit:

Wilks is a no-nonsense, highly respected coach and leader with a history of strong defenses, and successful position groups. 

As a defensive coordinator, he's proven to be aggressive. Wilks attracted some attention in previous head coaching searches. This offseason he's also interviewed with the Cardinals, and he interviewed for the Rams job a year ago before Sean McVay was hired.

Wilks would bring a lot of energy to the team, and he possesses the "leader of men" qualities Titans general manager Jon Robinson said he's looking for in the team's next head coach.

"He has a big presence about him, even the way he speaks, and everyone gravitates toward him," veteran Panthers safety Mike Adams said of Wilks recently in an interview with ESPN.

TitansOnline looks back at the NFL coaching career of Steve Wilks, who interviewed for the team's head coach position on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (Photos: AP, Carolina Panthers)

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