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Cardinals hire Steve Wilks as head coach

The Arizona Cardinals have hired Steve Wilks as their head coach, the club announced Monday.

Wilks recently completed his first season as the Carolina Panthers' assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. He spent the two prior years as Ron Rivera's assistant head coach and defensive backs coach, and was promoted after Sean McDermott took the head job with the Buffalo Bills.

Wilks's landing of the Arizona job is expected to be a further drain on Carolina's coaching staff.

Wilks has been in the NFL as a defensive backs coach since 2006, working with the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers before arriving in Carolina in 2012. Prior to that, he coached defensive backs in the college ranks, first at the FCS level before spending a season apiece at Bowling Green, Notre Dame and Washington.

This will not be Wilks's first head coaching job; he went 5-6 in one season as Savannah State's head coach in 1999.

The story of how he got the job, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, is sensational.

With Wilks's hiring, all three of the major football jobs in the state of Arizona are now filled by minorities, joining Kevin Sumlin at Arizona and Herm Edwards at Arizona State. All three were hired this winter.

The Cardinals went 8-8 this season under head coach Bruce Arians, and 7-8-1 in 2016. Ironically, the Cardinals lost to Wilks and the Panthers in the NFC Championship in January of 2016. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer retired this season after 14 years in the league and five with the franchise. Arizona owns the No. 15 pick in this spring's draft.

The Cardinals' job is the last of the NFL's seven openings to remain unfilled. The New York Giants are expected to name Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their head coach as soon as today, and Patriots coordinators Josh McDaniels (Indianapolis) and Matt Patricia (Detroit) are leaving for their own head jobs at the conclusion of next Sunday's Super Bowl.

This is a developing story, as always stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.