CHARLOTTE – A pair of men who grew up a short drive from Charlotte have joined the Panthers' coaching staff.
John Settle and Warren Belin, who have coached their positions for nearly 40 years between them, will serve as running backs coach and linebackers coach, respectively.
Settle, 45, hails from Reidsville, N.C., two hours northeast of Charlotte. He starred at Appalachian State in the 1980s, becoming the school's all-time leading rusher. That mark stood for more than 20 years, and he still ranks second – just a few yards ahead of Panthers wide receiver Armanti Edwards.
In 1988, playing for the Atlanta Falcons, Settle became the first undrafted player to rush for 1,000 yards in an NFL season. In 1992, he earned a Super Bowl ring with the Washington Redskins - along with Panthers assistant offensive line coach Ray Brown - then Settle retired and turned to coaching.
This past season at the University of Wisconsin – his fifth season with the Badgers – Settle coached a rushing attack that produced a trio of 800-yard rushers and ranked in the top 15 in the nation for the third consecutive season. Prior to Wisconsin, Settle spent eight seasons as running backs coach at Fresno State. He actually got his coaching start in the NFL, spending the 1995-98 seasons as an offensive assistant for the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens.
Belin, 43, will make his debut as an NFL coach, a move that will bring him within 40 miles of hometown of Marshville, N.C., and within 80 miles of his college alma mater, Wake Forest.
Belin spent last season as linebackers coach for the University of Georgia after serving in that same role for eight seasons at Vanderbilt and for the five seasons before that at Southern Methodist.
A three-year starter at linebacker for Wake Forest, Belin got his coaching start at Cornell in 1991. He coached at William & Mary from 1995-96, overlapping with Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's playing days with the Tribe.