The Minnesota Golden Gophers have hired Jim Panagos as defensive line coach to replace Marcus West, who departed for Charlotte earlier this month.
Panagos spent the last two seasons at Temple coaching defensive line, and had accepted an offer earlier this offseason to join the former Owls head coach Geoff Collins at Georgia Tech. But when a position opened up at Minnesota and head coach P.J. Fleck came calling, Panagos could not pass up a ticket to the Twin Cities. He and current Gophers defensive coordinator Joe Rossi coached together on the staff at Rutgers from 2012-15.
Panagos is also no stranger to the state of Minnesota, having worked for the Vikings first as a quality control assistant from 2002-04 and then as a defensive line assistant in 2005.
He was nominated for the Broyles Award — which recognizes the nation’s top assistant football coach each year — in 2017. Panagos was also named FootballScoop’s National Defensive Line Coach of the Year in 2009 while at Central Florida.
This is the Gophers’ second coaching staff hire of the offseason. The previous addition was defensive assistant Joe Harasymiak, who filled the vacancy created by the midseason firing of defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Robb Smith.