Longtime Panthers running back coach Jim Skipper announces retirement



Carolina Panthers running backs coach Jim Skipper has announced his retirement from coaching after 32 years in the NFL, including 15 with Carolina.

In Skipper’s 15 seasons with the Panthers, Carolina ranked in the top 10 in rushing yards eight times, including each of the last five seasons (2014-18). Under Skipper, Carolina’s backfield earned a total of six Pro Bowl nods and four AP All-Pro selections between five players (Stephen Davis, Christian McCaffrey, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and DeAngelo Williams). In his time with the team, four Panthers running backs (Davis, McCaffrey, Stewart and Williams) posted 1,000-yard rushing seasons and 10 players (Dee Brown, Davis, DeShaun Foster, Nick Goings, Mike Goodson, McCaffrey, Lamar Smith, Stewart, Fozzy Whittaker and Williams) produced at least one 100-yard rushing game. Skipper is the only coach that was on staff during each of Carolina’s Super Bowl seasons (2003 and 2015).

Skipper’s time in Carolina came over two stints, with the first lasting from 2002-10. In 2003, his second season with the team, Skipper’s coaching helped the Panthers to 2,091 rushing yards and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVIII. That season, Davis earned Pro Bowl honors after gaining 1,444 yards on the ground, the second most in franchise history. In 2008, Skipper coached Williams to 1,515 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, both franchise records. The following season, Stewart and Williams became the first set of teammates in NFL history to each rush for more than 1,100 yards in the same season as the Panthers set a franchise record with 2,498 rushing yards.

Since Skipper re-joined the Panthers in 2013, Carolina has ranked third in the NFL in rushing with 129.1 yards per game. From Week 6 of 2014 to Week 3 of 2016, Carolina produced 30 consecutive regular season games with at least 100 rushing yards. In 2015, the Panthers advanced to Super Bowl 50 after rushing for 142.6 yards per game, the second highest mark in the league and the highest ranking in team history. Carolina’s ground game was part of an offense that set team records with an NFL-leading 500 points and 59 total touchdowns. Over the last two years (2017-18), Skipper oversaw the development of McCaffrey as he became just the third player in NFL history with at least 1,500 career rushing and 1,500 career receiving yards through his first two seasons.

Between his two stints with Carolina, Skipper served as the running backs coach with Tennessee from 2011-12. In each of Skipper’s two years with the Titans, running back Chris Johnson surpassed 1,000 yards on the ground.

Skipper originally came to Carolina after spending four years with the New York Giants from 1997-2000 and serving as head coach of the XFL’s San Francisco Demons in 2001. In 1996, he coached one season with the Arizona Cardinals. His NFL coaching career began as running backs coach with the New Orleans Saints (1986-95).

Skipper entered coaching at Cal Poly-Pomona in 1974 before joining San Jose State in 1977. In 1979, he spent one season at Pacific and then coached at Oregon for three years (1980-82). Skipper’s professional coaching career started with the USFL’s Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars (1983-85).

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