On Sunday, the Carolina Panthers announced that special teams coach Bruce DeHaven is stepping down from his position to battle cancer. DeHaven will now serve as a senior advisor to special teams as he continues his recovery.
“Bruce is going to return home, and he’s going to continue with his therapy as he battles cancer,” head coach Ron Rivera said to reporters. “Bruce wanted to do this. He felt now was the opportunity for us to transition.”
According to Panthers.com, DeHaven will “assist in game planning and advance work” from his home in Buffalo, N.Y. while he receives treatment. Thomas McGaughey will assume DeHaven’s now former role with former linebacker Chase Blackburn moving up to special teams assistant.
DeHaven was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 and took time off last May before returning for the regular season. In the campaign prior, the Panthers special teams unit allowed 15.5 yards per punt return and 32.4 yards per kick return. Under the 67-year-old’s tutelage in 2015, they would relinquish improved averages 7.8 yards on punts and 26.6 yards on kickoffs.