CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers on Wednesday lifted the interim tag off of Marty Hurney's title, making him the full-time general manager of the organization for the second time.
Hurney initially was with the Panthers from 1998 to 2012. He served as the general manager from 2002 through six games in the 2012 season, when he reached a mutual decision with owner Jerry Richardson to part after a 1-5 start.
He was hired as the interim general manager the week before the 2017 training camp after Richardson fired Dave Gettleman. The Panthers went 11-5.
A committee, led by chief operating officer Tina Becker, also interviewed Houston Texans assistant GM Jimmy Raye III, Buffalo assistant director of college scouting Lake Dawson (who returned for a second interview), and former Detroit Lions general manager and current San Francisco personnel executive Martin Mayhew. All three fulfilled the league rule that teams must interview at least one minority candidate when hiring a general manager or head coach.
In a statement, Becker said: "We are very fortunate to have Marty as our general manager after he did an exceptional job in the interim role this past season. Marty's guidance and vision helped build the foundation for this team, and his work this season was instrumental in returning the team to the playoffs. We believe he will continue to craft a roster that will win games and contend for a championship."
The Panthers were preparing to make this announcement several weeks ago, but put the process on hold after Hurney's ex-wife accused him of harassment when seeking a temporary restraining order in court. The order was not granted and the complaint was dropped, but the NFL still conducted a two-week investigation to assure there was no violation under the league's personal conduct policy.
Hurney was on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which revealed no violations.
Hurney returned to work Friday and has been preparing since with coach Ron Rivera and the staff for next week's NFL combine and free agency.
He was viewed as the best person to help in the transition to new ownership when the team is sold by Richardson.
Richardson put the team up for sale after the season. He made the decision to sell in December after Sports Illustrated reported he paid off at least four former employees to keep quiet alleged sexual harassment and the use of a racial slur with a former team scout.
"I have always felt a strong connection to this organization and viewed this job as one of the very best in the NFL because of the people here," Hurney said in a statement. "Mr. Richardson and Tina have been open and honest with me from the beginning, and I am thankful for the trust they have placed in me.
"I gained a lot of perspective being away and then back in an interim role last season. I feel that I am the best person to help Ron and this team moving forward. We have a really special core of players in place, and I'm extremely excited about the direction we are headed."
Hurney said when rehired in July that he learned a lot about mistakes he made the first time as a general manager. One of his biggest was making what he called emotional decisions and giving veteran players bigger contracts than they deserved.
He vowed not to do that again, saying he has to make sure the "analytical part of my brain takes over the emotional part of my brain.''