On a day where the USFL saw major coaching changes for the Houston Gamblers, the Michigan Panthers also added a new coach. Christian Runza announced via his twitter he was coming up North to Ford Field for 2023. The former Monmouth University Linebacker is leaving Towson University to join Mike Nolan and the rest of the Panthers as the Linebackers Coach for 2023.
As stated, Runza initially played at the FCS school Monmouth University from 2014-2017 as a reserve Linebacker and Snapper on Field Goals. After his time as a special teams standout, Runza transitioned to coaching serving as a Quarterback and Linebackers consultant at his high school alma mater Northern Valley Old Tappan. He’d join Towson in 2019, serving as an assistant for the 2019 season (Towson canceled the Football season in 2020), before being promoted to Linebackers Coach in 2021, holding the position for the past two seasons. Runza now joins the Michigan Panthers for his first opportunity to coach at the professional level with the USFL.
Runza joins a Linebacker room that hosts tackling machine, Frank Ginda, in addition to key players like Terry Myrick, and Alexander Vainikolo. The Panthers also upgraded the position by signing former All-Big Ten Linebacker Paddy Fisher in hopes of bolstering the position for 2023. Under the tutelage of a Defensive Head Coach like Mike Nolan Runza is in prime position to learn from a great NFL mind on the Defensive side of the ball. For the Panthers they gain a young defensive coach who has experience at the LB position to hopefully see an improvement at a unit who at times underwhelmed last year.