Steve Wilks is taking the high road after being passed over for the Carolina Panthers' head coaching job.
The day after the Panthers announced they hired Frank Reich as their next coach, Wilks sent a message on social media thanking his former players and coaches.
"The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so did I," Wilks wrote. "I'm disappointed but not defeated. Many people aren't built for this but I know what it means to persevere and see it through.
"It was an honor for me to coach those men in the Carolina Panthers locker room as the interim head coach. Players, coaches and staff, thank you for your hard work and dedication. I took pride in representing Charlotte, a great city that I love so much. Thank you to my family, friends and the community for your overwhelming support.
"I do wish Frank Reich all the best. I will always be a fan of the Carolina Panthers Football Team."
Wilks took over the Panthers as interim coach after Matt Rhule was fired with a 1-4 record. Carolina showed marked improvement under Wilks' leadership. The defensive coordinator helped spearhead the Panthers into playoff contention, going 6-6 in 12 games.
The 53-year-old, a head coach in Arizona for one season in 2018, was in contention for the permanent gig in Carolina, which ultimately went to Reich.
Wilks joined a federal class-action lawsuit filed last year by former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, alleging racial discrimination in hiring practices by the NFL and its member teams.