Jim Panagos, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is in his third season as defensive line coach at Rutgers. He has served both on the collegiate level and in the NFL during his career.
Panagos has been integral in the development of lineman Darius Hamilton, who led RU with 11.5 TFL and was second with 4.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2013. He earned Phil Steele Third Team All-American Athletic Conference. As a unit, RU ranked fourth in the nation in rushing, limiting opponents to 100.8 yards per game.
Following the 2013 season, Marcus Thompson, who played rush end for the Scarlet Knights, signed an NFL contract with the Miami Dolphins. Thompson led Rutgers with 5.5 sacks his senior season.
In 2012, the Scarlet Knights finished fourth in the nation in scoring defense (14.15 points allowed/game), tied for ninth in turnovers gained (32) and 10th in total defense (311.62 yards allowed/game) in his first season “On the Banks.” Scott Vallone was named First Team All-Big East under the guidance of Panagos on the defensive line after recording 52 tackles and three sacks.
The defensive line was also a key part in a Rutgers defense that ranked 16th nationally with 7.31 tackles-for-loss per game in 2012. In addition, Rutgers ranked sixth nationally in rushing defense in 2012 yielding just 97.2 yards per contest. The 97.2 rushing yards allowed per game ranked as the third-best rushing defense in school history. Rutgers also allowed only six rushing touchdowns the entire 2012 season, the third-lowest amount in the nation.
Senior defensive end Ka’Lial Glaud signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the 2013 NFL Draft.
Panagos completed his fifth season as defensive line coach at the University of Central Florida in 2011. During his time in Orlando, UCF appeared in three bowl games. In 2011, UCF ranked ninth nationally in total defense, ninth in scoring defense, eighth in pass efficiency defense and 16th in rushing defense. They led Conference USA in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense and rushing defense.
In 2010, his defensive line was a key part in one the best seasons in school history as UCF finished 11-3. The Knights went 7-1 in league play and claimed the Conference USA Championship title. UCF entered the national rankings for the first time and picked up its first bowl win with a 10-6 triumph over Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
UCF ranked in the top-10 nationally in both rushing and scoring defense during its 11-3 season. Leading the position group was Bruce Miller, who was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season. Miller was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Miller graduated as the nation’s active leader with 35.5 career sacks and ranked third with 57.5 career tackles for loss. After the 2010 season, Panagos was selected as a national all-star assistant by Rivals.com.
FootballScoop.com named Panagos its National Defensive Line Coach of the Year in 2009 after a season in which the Knights led Conference USA in several defensive categories and finished the season against Rutgers in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Miller (13) and Jarvis Geathers (11) both hit double-digits in sacks while tackle Torell Troup was a second round selection in the NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
In 2008, UCF’s defensive line was one of the strongest in the country. The group helped the Knights rank first in C-USA in three categories - rushing defense, pass efficiency defense and tackles-for-loss. UCF recorded 8.62 tackles for loss per game, third nationally.
In Panagos’ first season in Orlando in 2007, UCF finished the year 10-4, including a C-USA Championship crown and an appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The Knights’ defensive front showed great improvement during the season by totaling 39 sacks, which ranked first in C-USA and 24th nationally.
Panagos helped three Knights gain individual honors during the 2007 campaign. Leger Douzable (49 tackles, 7.5 sacks) was an All-C-USA First Team pick and fellow senior defensive lineman Keith Shologan (33 tackles, 2.5 sacks) was named to the all-league second team. Miller totaled 38 tackles and 7.0 sacks and was named to the All-C-USA Freshman Team.
Both Douzable (Minnesota) and Shologan (San Diego) signed free-agent contracts with NFL squads. Douzable is entering his seventh NFL season and second with the New York Jets.
Prior to moving to Orlando, Panagos coached on the Minnesota Vikings staff in the NFL. During the 2004 campaign, Panagos tutored rookies Spencer Johnson and Darrion Scott to take on starting roles at defensive tackle and defensive end, respectively. Panagos worked with Kevin Williams that season as the All-Pro led all NFL defensive tackles with 11.5 sacks.
As a student-athlete, Panagos played football at the University of Maryland (1989-92). A two-time letterwinner at defensive tackle, he led the Terrapins in sacks (5) and tackles-for-loss (12) as a senior.
In 1993, he began his coaching career as the assistant defensive line coach at his alma mater. Before joining the Terrapins, Panagos spent four years teaching mathematics and coaching football, as well as several other sports, at the C.R. James Alternative School in Tampa, Fla. He also volunteered with Tampa’s YMCA football program.
Panagos earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Maryland in 1993. He attended East Islip High School on Long Island, where he earned first-team all-state honors in football. Panagos and his wife, Maureen, have three children: Jack, Hayden and Olivia.
THE PANAGOS FILE
Hometown: East Islip, N.Y.
Alma Mater: Maryland, 1993
Children: Jack, Hayden, Olivia
2012-present: Defensive Line
2007-11: Defensive Line
2004-05: Assistant Defensive Line/Special Teams
2002-03: Offensive/Defensive Quality Control Assistant
C.R. James (Fla.) Alternative School
1994-97: Assistant Coach
1993: Defensive Line Assistant
Two-time letterwinner at defensive tackle at Maryland. Led the Terrapins in sacks (5) and tackles-for-loss (12) as a senior.