Not exactly breaking news at this point, but Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive line coach Jim Panagos has opted to return to Rutgers to take the same position under new head coach Greg Schiano. Panagos has ties to Rutgers and the Piscataway area after a previous stint with the Scarlet Knights, so his decision isn’t a complete surprise.
But the timing of the move is... interesting, to say the least. The news broke yesterday during the Gophers’ last official visit weekend ahead of the Early Signing Period, when Fleck and co. were hosting multiple defensive linemen on campus. Among them was Jah Joyner, a highly-coveted Connecticut defensive end who received an in-home visit from Schiano earlier this week. Joyner’s primary recruiter at Minnesota was Panagos. You do the math.
Panagos’ departure also means that the defensive line coach position at Minnesota with Fleck at the helm continues to resemble the Defense Against the Dark Arts professorship at Hogwarts. Fleck hired Panagos to replace Marcus West, who left after one season to become co-defensive coordinator at Charlotte, and Joe Rossi, who was promoted to defensive coordinator last year and now also coaches linebackers. West and Rossi were hired to replace Bryce Paup, who was Fleck’s initial hire as defensive line coach before he too left after one season at Minnesota.