Chuck Pagano

Former NFL Head Coach

Chuck Pagano is a former NFL head coach and assistant, part of 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 South titles.

Pagano started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at USC and Miami (Fla.) before making jumps nationwide. The NFL is where Pagano carved out his most notable reputation as the 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 .685.

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 his cancer was in remission.

Pagano’s defenses are his legacy. While he coached the Ravens, his schemes helped Terrell Suggs become the 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, Colo., 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.

Pagano and his wife have three children.