AP source: Panthers postpone interviews after Walkes’ death

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have postponed interviews with head coaching candidates Sean Payton and Kellen Moore after the death of Charlotte FC soccer player Anton Walkes, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Panthers owner David Tepper and other members of the search committee returned to Charlotte on Thursday from New York, where they had planned interview Payton, to support the grieving Charlotte FC players. Walkes was killed Wednesday in a boat crash in Miami. Tepper was on hand for a vigil outside of Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium on Thursday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the team does not disclose details of its coaching search.

Tepper owns Charlotte FC, an MLS team that recently completed its first season.

The Panthers have interviewed or scheduled interviews with nearly a dozen candidates. Tepper is weighing whether to keep interim coach Steve Wilks or hire a coach from outside the organization.

The Panthers went 7-10 this season, including 6-6 under Wilks, who replaced the fired Matt Rhule.

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