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Sports

Carolina’s Rivera Wins AP Top Coach Award

BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer
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Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (AP) — Ron Rivera took the Carolina Panthers from also-ran to division champion this season, earning him The Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year award.

Rivera’s Panthers went 12-4 to take the NFC South and get a first-round playoff bye. They lost to San Francisco in the divisional round.

Rivera’s fine work in his third season in charge in Carolina brought him 21½ votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league in balloting announced Saturday night.

That outdistanced Kansas City’s Andy Reid, who got 13½ votes. In his first year with the Chiefs, Reid took them from 2-14 to 11-5 and an AFC wild-card berth.

Rivera is the second Panthers coach to win the award. Dom Capers was AP Coach of the Year in 1996, Carolina’s second season in the NFL.

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AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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