A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers and Ron Rivera have reached an agreement in principle that will make the San Diego defensive coordinator the second Latino head coach in NFL history.
Rivera and the Panthers were working out contract details on Tuesday, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not publicly announced the hiring.
Rivera is set to replace John Fox, who was let go after Carolina went an NFL-worst 2-14 in his ninth season.
The 49-year-old Rivera, who is of Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage, has run the Chargers' defense since midway through the 2008 season. The former Bears linebacker also was defensive coordinator in Chicago from 2004-06.
The other Latino head coach in the NFL was ex-Raiders boss Tom Flores.