IT'S OFFICIAL: Cardinals name Steve Wilks head coach

Posted: Updated:
Steve Wilks (Source AP File photo) Steve Wilks (Source AP File photo)
Steve Wilks (Source: AP 2016 file photo) Steve Wilks (Source: AP 2016 file photo)

The Arizona Cardinals made it official, announcing Steve Wilks head coach Monday morning.

Tweeting a #BeRedSeeRed welcome to Arizona, the team said it expects to introduce Wilks, 48, at a news conference Tuesday. 

"I'm so excited about being a part of something great here," Wilks told the #BirdGang via Twitter video. "It's all about trying to create a commitment to excellence and I can't wait to see you guys at 'The Red Sea.'"

[TIMELINE: Cardinals head coaches, 1988-now]

The first hint that the Wilks announcement was imminent came when All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson tweeted "I LOVE IT" at 10 a.m. Monday. Peterson could have been talking about a number of topics but his tweet was posted right after reports surfaced that the Cardinals were closing in on a deal with the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator.  

Peterson wasn’t the only All-Pro cornerback to express his affinity for the hire. Redskins defensive back Josh Norman, who played under Wilks when the Panthers went to the Super Bowl, tweeted straight to Peterson that he about to take his game to another level.

[RELATED: Cardinals' pool dwindles as search goes on for coach]

Wilks had been with the Panthers since 2012.

Like his predecessor, Bruce Arians, who announced his retirement less than a month ago, Wilks is responsible for one of the toughest days in Cardinals history.

[RELATED: Statement: Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians announces retirement]

[MORE: Fans react to Bruce Arians' retirement announcement]

Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Steelers when they beat the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. Wilks was assistant head coach with the Panthers when they beat the Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game two years ago.

[SLIDESHOW: NFC Championship Game — Cardinals vs. Panthers]

Wilks had a humble beginning. He started his coaching career in 1995 John C. Smith, and got his first head coach job at Savannah State 1999 after two years as their defensive coordinator.  

He was only there for a year, though, coaching for eight teams in as many years.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Cardinals]

Prior to signing on with the Panthers, Wilks was the defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears (2006-2008) and then the San Diego Chargers (2009-2011). That was his first position with the Panthers. He added assistant head coach to his duties in 2015. Last year, he was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.

The Cardinals, Arizona State and Arizona have all hired African American head coaches in less than two months' time.

[SUN DEVILS: Herm Edwards enthusiastically takes the reins at Arizona State]

[WILDCATS: Kevin Sumlin says coaching Arizona is 'the right challenge']

[MORE: Sports on]

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.