Looking At The Michigan Panthers 2024 UFL Coaching Staff | Mike Nolan

Looking At The Michigan Panthers 2024 UFL Coaching Staff

The Michigan Panthers are coming back to town this spring. Head Coach Mike Nolan is returning, and has brought back most of his 2023 staff, with a couple of adjustments.

In 2023, the Michigan Panthers won their final game to sneak into the postseason with a 4-6 record. While the team lost in the playoffs, the late surge from QB E.J. Perry (who re-signed to the Panthers) gave the fanbase hope heading into 2024.

With the team officially set to return in the United Football League, let’s take a look at the team’s staff for the upcoming season.

Mike Nolan | Head Coach

Mike Nolan needs no introduction. He took over head coaching duties for Michigan, after Jeff Fisher decided to step away late.

Nolan has the most NFL experience of practically anyone on the staff, having served as the San Francisco 49ers HC from 2005-2008, with a record of 18-37. Mike has been a defensive coordinator as well with a few NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Miami Dolphins.

It’ll be interesting to watch everything unfold for the Panthers this season. For the first time in modern history, they will have the same coach for the second straight year.

Marcel Bellefeuille | Offensive Coordinator

A new addition to the squad is Marcel Bellefeuille, who joins Michigan from the now-defunct Philadelphia Stars. Bellefeuille served as the WR’s/Passing Coach on Bart Andrus’ staff with the Stars, and now moves to the offensive coordinator role under Mike Nolan.

Bellefeuille has a ton of alt-football experience. He’s been in the Canadian scene for decades, and served as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach for three years (2009-2011), with a 26-28 record during that span. The team made the playoffs all three seasons, with an East Finals appearance in 2011.

Since then, he’s had a few different CFL opportunities, and also accepted the Head Coaching position at the University of Ottawa. As it stands right now, he will maintain that job, alongside his new role with the Michigan Panthers.

Note: It’s not surprising to see why the Panthers gutted the Stars’ WR room, now that we know that Marcel is part of the staff.

Collin Bauer | Defensive Coordinator/D-Line

Some great news for Michigan is the promotion of Collin Bauer to the defensive coordinator position. Bauer was the Defensive Line coach in 2023, boasting one of the best groups in the league. Collin did an outstanding job leading the likes of Breeland Speaks, Garrett Marino, Walter Palmore, and others.

Since former DC Steve Brown is no longer in the picture, Bauer now takes over as the defensive coordinator. Bauer has had stints with Towson, Rutgers, and Maryland serving in various defensive roles.

Jordan Pavlisin | Running Backs

Another returning member is Jordan Pavlisin, who will retain his position as running backs coach. Pavlisin will have a brand new room to coach this year, with Reggie Corbin and Stevie Scott no longer rostered. The team brought in some tremendous talent, though, as Wes Hills, Matt Colburn, Raymond Calais, and others are on the roster.

Pavlisin played Arena and European football for a few years, and also had some previous coaching experience at Elon University, and the University of Louisiana. Now, he’ll head into his second year in the professional scene with the Michigan Panthers.

Tim Holt | Offensive Line

Tim Holt is back on Nolan’s staff for 2024, coaching the offensive line. Holt has NFL experience with the Oakland Raiders, as an assistant offensive line coach. He was the Chicago Bears offensive line coach in 2012, and also had a stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Gary Watkins | Tight Ends

Gary Watkins is back in the UFL, after his rookie coaching season with the Michigan Panthers in 2023. The Panthers featured a solid tight end unit, as Marcus Baugh and Cole Hikutini were consistent throughout the year. Watkins also duals as the Head Coach at San Diego Mesa College.

Jaron Fairman | Special Teams/WR’s

Fairman returns to Michigan in a similar role, continuing his opportunity with Michigan as their Special Teams Coordinator, and Wide Receivers Coach. Fairman played as a WR at Fresno State from 2003-2006, and has since spent time with a few colleges in various roles. Most recently, he was an Analyst at Ole Miss.

Christian Runza | Linebackers

Runza is back with Michigan, ready to lead the core group of linebackers once again. Christian’s first professional experience was in the USFL last year, where he coached the likes of Frank Ginda (DPOY), and Levi Bell – who just signed a futures deal with the Seattle Seahawks.

Christian spent a few years at Towson University, and also returned to Monmouth University this offseason to serve as an assistant Defensive Coordinator.

Brock Marion | Defensive Backs

Brock Marion, the former Pro-Bowl safety with the Miami Dolphins, has joined Mike Nolan’s staff for the 2024 UFL season.

Marion was a seventh round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys, playing with the team for a few years. Brock then moved to Miami, where he was a three-time Pro Bowler. He is a two time Super Bowl Champion, bringing that NFL pedigree to the Panthers defensively.

Interestingly enough, Marion was in the USFL last year, with the Memphis Showboats on Todd Haley’s staff. Now, he’ll take over DB duties for the Panthers – a unit that was strengthened throughout the dispersal draft process.

Steve Kazor | General Manager

Steve Kazor retains his role as the General Manager of the Michigan Panthers, something he’s been in control of for the past two seasons.

Kazor has a plethora of coaching and scouting experience at the collegiate and NFL level, most notably with the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears (Super Bowl XX Champion). Kazor and Nolan will continue to build upon their Championship aspirations with the Panthers in 2024.

Final Thoughts

It’ll be an exciting season of football for the Michigan Panthers in 2024. Now in the newly formed UFL, the Panthers will be battling with some familiar faces – and some new franchises from the XFL conference.

What are your thoughts on Mike Nolan returning as Head Coach for Michigan? Are there any surprises in this staff? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!