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Panthers hire Chargers' Wilks to coach DBs

The Carolina Panthers have hired Steve Wilks as their secondary coach/passing defense coordinator.

Wilks replaces Ron Meeks, one of two holdovers from coach John Fox's staff.

U-T San Diego first reported on Saturday that Wilks was headed to the Panthers.

A Charlotte native, Wilks coached the past three seasons with the Chargers. In 2009, he helped San Diego advance 20 spots in the NFL pass defense rankings. The Chargers led the NFL in pass defense in 2010. Wilks worked with current Panthers coach Ron Rivera in San Diego from 2009 to 2010 and they coached together with the Bears. Wilks was a member of Chicago's 2006 NFC Championship team.

Before coming to the NFL, Wilks was both a head coach and assistant coach on the college level for 11 seasons and played at Appalachian State.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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