The Carolina Panthers have named Mike Trgovac defensive line coach, head coach John Fox announced Thursday. A veteran of 18 coaching seasons, including the last seven in the NFL, Trgovac comes to Carolina after spending the past two years with the Washington Redskins.
"I am very pleased that we were able to add Mike to our staff," said Fox. "He is a coach with a proven track record for bringing out the best in players, and a number of his players have enjoyed their finest seasons under his tutelage."
In 2000, Trgovac helped preside over a Redskins defense rated fourth overall in the NFL and first in the NFC. Along the defensive line, he coached defensive ends Marco Coleman and Bruce Smith, who combined for 22 sacks, and helped Coleman earn his first Pro Bowl berth.
Prior to serving as the Green Bay Packers defensive line coach in 1999, he spent four seasons (1995-98) in the same capacity for the Philadelphia Eagles. In Philadelphia, he helped mold a defense that finished third in the NFL in sack percentage and first overall against the pass in 1998, and his 1995 line totaled an NFL-best 42.5 sacks. Following the 1995 campaign, William Fuller went to the Pro Bowl while Hollis Thomas and Brandon Whiting earned all-rookie honors.
Before joining the Eagles, Trgovac spent 11 years coaching college defensive lines. He started in 1984 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Michigan. After two years in Ann Arbor, Trgovac coached at Ball State (1986-88), Navy (1989), Colorado State (1990-91), and Notre Dame (1992-94), where he was an assistant to head coach Lou Holtz. Three of his Fighting Irish players went on to become starters in the NFL: Bryant Young (49ers), Junior Bryant (49ers), and Jim Flanigan (Bears).
As a player under Bo Schembechler at Michigan (1977-80), Trgovac started three years at middle guard and was a second-team All-American as a senior. He earned All-Big Ten honors twice, and played in three Rose Bowls. He was an all-state football player at Fitch HS in Austintown, OH, where he was named Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1976.