Chuck Pagano is only the second head coach in NFL history to earn 11 wins in each of his first three seasons with a team and he became the third head coach in Colts history to reach the playoffs in each of his first three years (Ted Marchibroda, 1975-77 and Tony Dungy, 2002-04). Pagano’s second and third season with the Colts posted perfect 6-0 records against AFC South opponents en route to back-to-back division titles.
Building a strong resume having been the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, the Carolina Panthers, and the Oakland Raiders, Pagano began and developed his coaching methods in the collegiate sector at USC, Miami, and UNLV among others. With a strong foundation planted in building an impenetrable defense, Pagano holds many distinctions in both the college and professional levels such as no passing touchdowns allowed by his defensive backs for 27 quarters while at the University of Miami. Also, in his first coaching position in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns, Pagano led the defense to tie a franchise record for fewest passing touchdowns allowed with 13. A coach who knows how to instill dedication and effectively transfer knowledge, Pagano knows how to build strong teams.
Success continued to follow Pagano’s tenure as he moved on to coach the defensive backs for the Oakland Raiders where in ‘06 his pass defense allowed for only 151 yards per game, the best in the league. Pagano also greatly improved the defensive stats and results with the Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens, with his defense consistently finishing in the top five in several categories. No matter the challenges he faced whenever joining a team, Pagano has taken it on with gusto and great determination in the only way he knows how: head on.
On September of 2012, Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and ordered to undergo a four to six month treatment process. To demonstrate support for their coach, two dozen Colts players shaved their heads and created a slogan for their season, “Chuck Strong.” It was an act of solidarity that is a direct reflection of not only Pagano’s determined philosophy but also of his team building influence. Two months after the initial diagnosis, doctors announced the cancer to be in remission. In 2014, Pagano penned Sidelined: Overcoming Odds through Unity, Passion, and Perseverance, a memoir sharing his battle with cancer.
Pagano and his wife, Tina, have three daughters, Tara, Taylor, and Tori. A devout family man, when his day job doesn’t take up his time, Pagano is often guilty of texting with various family members which occasionally makes his oldest daughter lovingly observe, “that smartphone is the worst thing to ever happen to him.”