A look at the Michigan Panthers 2024 coaching staff and the experience that they bring to the franchise.

Head Coach: Mike Nolan

Mike Nolan is back for his 2nd season as the head coach of the Michigan Panthers after leading the team to a 4-6 regular season that saw them finish in 2nd in the North Division and make the playoffs as the division’s second seed.

Nolan’s coaching career began over 40 years ago as a graduate assistant with Oregon in 1981. Prior to coaching, he was a 3-year letterman and starter at safety at Oregon. He worked as a positional coach for defensive positions at the college level from 1982 to 1986 with stops at Stanford, Rice, and LSU.

Nolan entered the NFL when he was hired by the Denver Broncos as a special teams coach in 1987 and served as the linebackers coach from 1989 to 1992 with the team. He got his first job as a defensive coordinator with the New York Giants in 1993 where he worked through 1996. Nolan. He worked as a defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, and Baltimore Ravens prior to becoming the Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2005.

Nolan took over as the 49ers Head Coach following one of the franchise’s worst seasons coming off a 2-14 season. Under his watch, the 49ers went 4-12 in 2005, 7-9 in 2006, 5-11 in 2007, and in 2008 he was fired after a 2-5 start to the season.

From 2010 to 2014 Nolan again worked as a defensive coordinator with stops at the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, and Atlanta Falcons. He worked as the Linebackers coach with the San Diego Chargers in 2015 and the New Orleans Saints from 2017 to 2019. His last NFL job was with the Dallas Cowboys as the Defensive Coordinator in 2020.

Defensive Coordinator/ Line: Collin Bauer

Collin Bauer worked last season as the defensive line coach for the Panthers. He will take over as the Defensive Coordinator in place of Steve Brown.

Bauer worked as an Assistant Football Coach for Towson from 2010 until he took a position at the Citadel as a Defensive Graduate Assistant Football Coach in 2013. In 2014 he took a job with the University of Maryland as a Defensive Graduate Assistant Football Coach. He worked for Rutgers from 2016 to 2018 joining the program as a Defensive Graduate Assistant Football Coach and became their Defensive Quality Control coach in 2017.

Prior to working for the Panthers Bauer worked for Towson University as a linebackers coach from 2018 to 2020 until he worked as the Defensive Run Game Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach through the 2022 season. He also worked as a Recruiting Coordinator for Towson.

Marcel Bellefeuille: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks

Marcel Bellefeuille is a Canadian coach with lots of experience from Ottawa, Ontario. In addition to his role in the UFL with the Michigan Panthers, he is also the head coach at the University of Ottawa where he has held the position since 2020.

He began his coaching career in 1995 with the University of Ottawa as an Assistant Head Coach. He took over as the program’s head coach in 1998 and led the team to a national championship as they won the Vanier Cup over Regina by a score of 42-39.

Bellefeuille joined the professional ranks in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2001 working as a runningbacks and receivers coach until he worked as the offensive coordinator from 2003 to 2005. He joined the Montreal Alouettes in 2006 as a running back and receivers coach and served as offensive coordinator in 2007.

Bellefeuille worked as the offensive coordinator for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats until he took over as head coach part way through the 2008 season. He worked as the Tiger-Cats head coach through the 2011 season posting a 26-28 record and making the playoffs all three seasons. In 2011 the TiCats finished the regular season as the third seed in the East Division with an 8-10 record and won a playoff game on the road in Montreal by a score of 52-44. However, they would lose the Division Finals in Winnipeg by a score of 3-19 and he was relieved of his duties following the season.

Bellefeuille worked for the Omaha Nighthawks in the United Football League as the offensive Coordinator in 2012. He returned to the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 2013 to 2015 as the offensive Coordinator. He worked for the BC Lions as the receivers coach from 2016 to 2017.

He worked for Queen’s University as an offensive coordinator in 2018. In 2019 he returned to the CFL as a scout for the Edmonton Elks. In 2020 Bellefeuillie returned to the University of Ottawa where has has since worked as the Head Coach. He signed with the Philadelphia Stars as the wide receivers coach in 2023 where he worked in addition to his collegiate head coaching position.

Jaron Fairman: Special Teams/Wide Receivers

Jaron Fairman is new to the Panthers coaching staff this season and will be working his first season at the professional level. He has worked as a coach at the collegiate level since 2008.

Fairman played for Fresno State as a wide receiver from 2003 to 2006. He took his first coaching role in 2008 as a Special Teams Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach. He worked as the Passing Game Coordinator in 2009 and the Offensive Coordinator for Nicholls in 2010.

He worked as the Special Team Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach in 2011 for Western State College (now known as Western Colorado University). In 2012 he worked for Crespi High School as the Receivers Coach and Special Teams Coordinator.

Fairman worked for USC from 2013 to 2015 as a Graduate  Assistant. He worked for Florida Atlantic beginning in 2017 as Assistant Director of Player Development. He transitioned to be Florida Atlantic’s Special Teams Coordinator in 2018 and took on the responsibility of tight ends coach in the 2020 season in addition to his special teams role.

Fairman worked for Ole Miss in 2022 as an Analyst.

Tim Holt: Offensive Line

Tim Holt is also new to the Michigan Panthers coaching staff. He brings over 20 years of coaching experience including 6 years at the NFL level.

Holt played for Southern Connecticut University prior to beginning his coaching career with his alma mater in 1995 as the program’s Tight Ends Coach and Assistant Offensive Line Coach through 1996. He took a role with Lehigh University as  Tight Ends Coach and Assistant Offensive Line Coach from 1997 through 1998.

Holt worked for Cornell in 1999 as a Tight Ends Coach and Assistant Offensive Line Coach and worked as the Running Backs Coach in 2000 for the program.

Holt worked as the Offensive Coordinator as well as the Offensive Line Coach for American International from 2001 to 2003. He worked as a Running Backs Coach with Southern Connecticut from 2005 to 2007. In 2008 he worked as the Running Game Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach for Stonehill College.

Holt entered the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 as an Offensive Assistant. He worked for the Buccaneers as an Assistant Offensive Line Coach from 2010 to 2011. In 2012 he worked as the Chicago Bears Offensive Line Coach.

In 2014 he worked for Stetson University as Offensive Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator. He returned to the NFL with the Oakland Raiders working as an Assistant Offensive Line Coach from 2015 to 2017. Holt’s worked for Santa Margarita Catholic High School from 2019 to 2022 prior to joining the Panther’s coaching staff.

Brock Marion: Defensive Backs

Brock Marion had a very impressive career as a safety at the NFL level. He played cornerback in his first 3 years of college with Nevada before moving to strong safety for his final year. He recorded 303 tackles, 44 passes defended, and 13 interceptions. He was all-conference 3 times while at Nevada.

Marion was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 7th round (196th overall) in 1993. He played for the Cowboys through 1997 and won 2 Super Bowls with the team.

Following a 100-tackle season, he signed with the Miami Dolphins where he played from 1998 to 2003. He led the NFL in kick return yards in 199 and was the NFL interception return yards leader in 2001. He made the Pro Bowl 3 times while playing for Miami making it in 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Marion played his final season for the Detroit Lions in 2004 where he started in 16 games. He recorded 66 tackles and 3 interceptions over the season. He was cut and replaced by Terrence Holt in the following offseason in a move that saved salary for the team.

Marion recorded 676 tackles, 31 interceptions and 2 quarterback sacks. He accumulated 537 interception return yards and 3 touchdowns. He also returned 123 kickoffs for 2,951 yards (24 yards per return. He became the oldest player to have a 100+ yard interception return when he did so at 31 years old and 209 days.

He opened 2 franchises of the National Personal Trainer Institute in Portland, Oregon in 2008. Marion became the head coach for St.. John Lutheran High School in Ocala, Florida in 2013.

Marion worked as an Assistant with the Minnesota Vikings through the 2021 training camp. He worked as an Assistant Coach at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in 2022. Marion worked as an Assistant Coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars training camp in 2022.

Marion coached last season with the USFL’s Memphis Showboats where he worked as the Defensive Backs Coach and Defensive Quality Control Coach.

Jordan Pavlisin: Running Backs

Jordan Pavlison played D3 football for Chapman University in college where he was named to the All-West Regional Team at guard in 2010.

He played football professionally overseas for a year after graduating in 2011 before playing 2 seasons in the Arena Football League. He worked as an Assistant Offensive Line Coach at Elon University in 2021. He worked for the University of Louisiana Monroe as an Offensive Student Assistant and Assistant Offensive Line Coach in 2022 and a Graduate Assistant in 2023 prior to joining the Michigan Panthers.

Christian Runza: Linebackers

Christian Runza played linebacker and also contributed on special teams for Monmouth University from 2014 to 2017. He played in 31 games over his final 3 seasons recording 5 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles.

Runza worked as a Defensive Quality Control Coach for Towson University from 2019 through the 2020 season and as the Linebackers Coach for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Runza joined the Michigan Panthers as the Linebackers Coach ahead of the 2023 season.

Gary Watkins: Tight Ends

Gary Watkins is back with the Panthers for another year after working as the tight Ends Coach for the Michigan Panthers in 2023. In addition to his role with the Panthers, Watkins works as the Head Coach of the football team for San Diego Mesa College with the 2018 season being his first in that role with the team.

Watkins works as an Assistant Football Coach with Cirtris College from 2013 to 2017. He was an Offensive Coordinator with East Nashville Magnet High School from the 2010 season through the 2012 seasons. He worked as a Quarterbacks Coach for Monte Vista High School from 2007 to 2010.

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Jonathan Clink
Jonathan Clink will work as UFL News Hub's primary correspondent covering the Michigan Panthers for the 2024. He has written over 250 articles covering the Canadian Football League prior to joining UFL News Hub. Clink is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has a background in several other sports as well having played soccer, basketball, and hockey competitively.

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