Cardinals hire Wilks as head coach

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PHOENIX (AP) — Steve Wilks is the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals announced Monday that the 48-year-old Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator had agreed to a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth.

Wilks spent one season as coordinator in Carolina, his 12th year as an NFL assistant. Wilks spent five seasons as Panthers secondary coach before his promotion a year ago.

Wilks replaces Bruce Arians, who retired after five seasons and compiled a franchise-record 50 victories.

Wilks was in Arizona for a second interview last week. He also coached for 11 years at the collegiate level, including a one-year stint as head coach at Savannah State in 1999.

The Cardinals planned to introduce Wilks as coach at a news conference Tuesday at team headquarters.

Former Saint Francis player & assistant coach James Bettcher was reportedly the first candidate to interview for Arizona’s head coaching job. He recently wrapped up his third season as Arizona’s defensive coordinator.

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