Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Kansas football names Jim Panagos new D-Line coach

Kansas players get stretched out for practice on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas players get stretched out for practice on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021 at Memorial Stadium.


The Kansas football team has hired Jim Panagos, a longtime college defensive line coach, to serve in that role for the Jayhawks.

Panagos spent the last two seasons coaching the defensive line at Rutgers after one at Minnesota. He coached defensive linemen at Temple in 2017 and 2018, at Rutgers from 2012-15 and at UCF from 2007-11, and he was a coaching assistant with the Minnesota Vikings from 2002-05.

A 1993 graduate of Maryland, Panagos will replace Kwahn Drake, who was fired in November after coach Lance Leipold completed his first season. His hiring completes the Jayhawks' staff of 10 assistant coaches.

“Coach Panagos is an excellent addition to our coaching staff, and I’m very excited to work with him,” Leipold said in a news release announcing the hire. “He has a strong reputation as an outstanding recruiter, as well as a track record of developing his players. His experience and philosophies align well with our defensive staff and will benefit our defensive tackles and our defense as a whole.”

The 2009 FootballScoop National Defensive Line Coach of the Year and a former Broyles Award nominee, Panagos' KU bio notes that he has coached more than 20 future NFL players during his time as a college coach.

Panagos coached at Rutgers in 2020 and 2021, Minnesota in 2019 and Temple in 2017 and 2018 before that. He also was with the Minnesota Vikings for four years.

In 2017, Panagos earned a nomination for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach annually, after helping lead the Owls to 39 sacks and 92 tackles-for-loss.


Greg Ledom 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Semantics I suppose, but Drake wasn’t fired, they simply didn’t renew his contract. End result is certainly the same. Anyway, it does seem like a good hire for the position.

Separately, for anyone in the know, did I miss an update on Benton Smith. Is he gone?

Dale Rogers 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Have been wondering the same thing about Benton.

Michael Maris 7 months, 4 weeks ago


Matt Tait responded to my post on the story of Jayhawks in the 2022 Super Bowl.

"We recently made a new hire — Zac Boyer — to replace Benton Smith and have been trying to get everything cranking while Zac gets up to speed.

No doubt we've missed a couple of things, but Zac is eager and excited and he'll be there Wednesday at Leipold's signing day presser. As will I.

Bear with us for a bit longer. Once Zac is fully comfortable, we'll be all over the football stories again."

Greg Ledom 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks Michael. Sorry to see Benton go but welcome the new crew and certainly look forward to more football juice.

Dirk Medema 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Hopefully this works well.

Happened to think that of the players we’ve lost to the portal, the ones most coveted have been on the DL, though I have no reason to believe that Khawn isn’t a good coach.

Good teams begin with solid lines - O&D.

David Robinett 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Who are the 20 future NFL players he coached?

Dirk Medema 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Michael - Any word on Benton’s departure? Destination? There was advanced notice about TK and Shane going to Vegas, but I don’t recall any mention of him leaving on a podcast just a couple weeks ago.

Michael Maris 7 months, 3 weeks ago


I have no idea...... I wish Benton the very best though.

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