Chuck Pagano

Chuck Pagano

Former NFL Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator

Chuck Pagano is a former NFL head coach and assistant with a coaching career that spans 36 seasons in the NFL and college. He is best known for his tenure with the Indianapolis Colts, a team he took over after the franchise lost Peyton Manning to injury and went 2-14 in 2011. The Colts went 11-5 in his first year in charge, then won two straight AFC North titles.

Pagano started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at both USC and Miami (Florida) before making jumps all over the country. The NFL is where Pagano carved out his most notable reputation as Baltimore Ravens secondary coach and defensive coordinator,  parlaying his success into the head coaching job in Indy.  With the Colts he made the playoffs his first three seasons and had a winning percentage of 68.5 during that time.

He managed that despite being diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in 2012. The team adapted the “Chuckstrong” motto and dedicated its season to the head coach during his treatment. Two dozen players and two cheerleaders shaved their heads in support of Pagano.

Doctors later announced that his cancer was in remission. 

Pagano’s defenses are his legacy. While he coached the Ravens, his schemes helped Terrell Suggs become 2011 Defensive Player of the Year. After leaving the Colts, Pagano made a stop with the Chicago Bears, where he helped Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith dominate.

Pagano grew up in Boulder, Colorado and attended Fairview High School. While at Fairview, he was a three-year letter winner and a two-year starter at safety. Pagano then attended the University of Wyoming and earned a degree in marketing.

He can currently be heard during the season on The Pat McAfee Show with a weekly segment titled Coach Us Up Chuck, bringing insight into the challenges coaching staffs must meet throughout the season.

Pagano and his wife have three children.


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When we acquired Jacoby Brissett in 2017 while I was in Indianapolis, he was not fully prepared to start for us. We acquired him late in the offseason. He missed out on OTAs and training camp with us and had basically a week with us to learn and digest our playbook. He took it all […]