PISCATAWAY, N.J. (February 21, 2012) – Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood announced Tuesday the completion of his inaugural coaching staff “On the Banks” with the hiring of Jim Panagos as defensive line coach. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Panagos has served both on the collegiate level and in the NFL during his career.
Panagos just 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, 16th in rushing defense and led Conference USA in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense and rushing defense. UCF yielded just nine rushing touchdowns on the season.
In addition, UCF surrendered 108.8 rushing yards a game. Since the program's inception in 1979, the Knights' top-three seasons for rushing defense have all occurred in the last three years under Panagos.
In 2010, his defensive line was a key part in perhaps the best season 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 San Francisco 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. In addition to Miller, three other defensive linemen earned all-conference honors. 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. UCF's 82.8 yards per game in rushing defense ranked fourth in the nation behind only Alabama, Texas and TCU, all of which played in BCS bowls. 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. The team ranked second in C-USA in total defense and Troup garnered a spot on the All-C-USA Second Team.
In Panagos’ first season in Orlando in 2007, UCF finished the year 10-4, including a C-USA Championship crown and a spot 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. Shologan was also the fourth overall selection in the Canadian Football League Draft by Saskatchewan.
Prior to moving to Orlando, Panagos coached on the Minnesota Vikings staff in the NFL. In 2005, he served as the Vikings' assistant defensive line and assistant special teams coach. During the 2004 campaign, Panagos tutored rookies Spencer Johnson and Darrion Scott 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.
Panagos joined the Minnesota staff in 2002 as the defensive quality control assistant.
As a student-athlete, Panagos played football at the University of Maryland (1989-92). A two-time letterwinner at defensive tackle, 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 worked in sales for the Safelite auto glass company from 1994-97. He earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Maryland in 1993.
Panagos 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.
2012 Rutgers Football Coaching Staff
Kyle Flood – Head coach
Dave Brock - Offensive coordinator/wide receivers
Robb Smith - Defensive coordinator/secondary
Phil Galiano - Special teams coordinator/defensive line
Dave Cohen – Linebackers
Jeremy Cole – Head strength and conditioning coach
Darnell Dinkins – Tight ends
Jim Panagos – Defensive line
Ben Sirmans – Running backs
Rob Spence – Quarterbacks
Damian Wroblewski – Offensive line
The Panagos File
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Alma Mater: Maryland, 1993
Born: March 23, 1971
Children: Jack, Hayden, Olivia
2007-11 – UCF (defensive line)
2004-05 – Minnesota Vikings (defensive line assistant/special teams assistant)
2003 – Minnesota Vikings (defensive quality control assistant)
2002 – Minnesota Vikings (offensive quality control assistant)
1994-97 – C.R. James Alternative School (assistant coach)
1993 – Maryland (defensive line assistant)
Two-year letterwinner at defensive tackle for the University of Maryland.