Ron Rivera wins 2013 NFL Coach of the Year

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

NEW YORK -- The Panthers gamble on Ron Rivera looks pretty smart right now and Rivera was rewarded for a 12-win season on Saturday night when he was named the 2013 NFL Coach of the Year.

Rivera, who was also named's Coach of the Year, earned wide acclaim as "Riverboat Ron" during 2013. After a 1-3 start to the year, Rivera and the Panthers ripped off an 11-1 record.

During Week 4, Rivera kicked a field goal against the Bills that led to EJ Manuel marching Buffalo's offense down the field and beating Carolina on a last-second touchdown.

From that point on, Rivera decided to go for it more often on fourth down and be aggressive in his coaching style. That led to the media coining the nickname "Riverboat Ron." To say it stuck would be an understatement.

Rivera tried to push the nickname away but Analytical Ron doesn't exactly stick quite as well.

"It's a nice little moniker but I just try to do the smart thing," Rivera said.

The Panthers did the smart thing earlier this offseason, handing Rivera a three-year extension following the Panthers impressive season.

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