Ron Rivera wins NFL Coach of the Year award

By Ian O'Brien,

The Carolina Panthers showed dramatic improvement in the 2013 season with a 12-4 record and an NFC South championship and so head coach Ron Rivera was rewarded for that.

Rivera narrowly beat out Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid for the 2013 NFL Coach of the Year award with 21.5 votes over Reid's 13.5 votes, according to NFL.com.

Rivera's third season as the Panthers' head coach turned out to be the charm as he improved from 6-10 and 7-9 seasons that saw his team lose many close games. This was often a result of his conservative play calling.

This year's Panthers team appeared to be the same early on, as shown by their Week 4 loss to the Bills on a last-second touchdown after kicking a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down, notes CBS Sports.

Rivera became more aggressive in his play calling after that game by going for it on fourth down more, and he became known as "Riverboat Ron." The Panthers got hot and went 11-1 before being eliminated by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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