Arizona Cardinals hire Steve Wilks as new head coach

It's official: Steve Wilks is the Arizona Cardinals' new head coach.

The Cardinals announced Monday that Wilks has signed a four-year contract (with the option for a fifth year) to be the Cards' head coach. Wilks, who served as the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers last season, becomes the team's 10th head coach since the franchise moved to the desert in 1988.

Wilks will be introduced to the media during a press conference in Tempe on Tuesday. The time of that press conference has yet to be determined. 

The 48-year-old Wilks has no previous head coaching experience in the NFL. He has one  year of collegiate head coaching experience, at Savannah State in 1999. He has 11 years of coaching experience at the college level before he began his time in the NFL as defensive backs coach for the Bears in 2006.

Wilks took on the same role with the Chargers and eventually the Panthers, where he has coached since 2012. He became Carolina's assistant head coach in 2015 and defensive coordinator last year. Wilks also interviewed for the head coaching job with the Tennessee Titans, and was a candidate for the Los Angeles' Rams head coach opening last year.

Wilks replaces Bruce Arians, who announced his retirement from the NFL on Jan. 1 after spending the last five seasons as the Cardinals' head coach.

The Cardinals reportedly interviewed at least nine candidates for the head coaching position. On Jan. 10, ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy learned Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was the Cardinals' top choice to replace Arians, with Wilks being a close second. But Shurmur is reportedly set to become the next head coach of the New York Giants.

At least one Cardinals player appears happy with the move. Patrick Peterson tweeted this out after the news broke.

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