Prior to Navy, Pankow served as a full-season equipment manger intern with the Indianapolis Colts. He had previously worked with the Colts as an equipment staff volunteer and worked one summer as an equipment manager intern with the Green Bay Packers. Pankow also served as the head clubhouse manager for the Normal Cornbelters, of the independent Frontier League.
Pankow graduated from Illinois State University in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice services. While at Illinois State, Pankow was a student equipment manager with the football team.
Pankow and his wife, Kristina, reside in Glen Burnie.