Chuck Pagano

Defensive Coordinator at Chicago Bears

Chuck Pagano

Chuck Pagano

Defensive Coordinator at Chicago Bears


In his six seasons as the head coach in Indianapolis, Chuck Pagano led the Colts to a 53-43 regular-season record, including a 3-3 mark in the playoffs. He led the Colts to two AFC South Championships (2013, 2014), three consecutive playoff appearances (2012-14) and an appearance in the 2014 AFC Championship Game.

A native of Boulder, Colo., Pagano became only the second head coach in NFL history to earn at least 11 wins in each of his first three seasons with a team and became the third head coach in Colts history to reach the playoffs in each of his first three years. From 2013-14, his Colts recorded perfect 6-0 records against AFC South opponents en route to back-to-back division titles. The Colts also recorded 16 consecutive wins against the AFC South, setting an NFL record for consecutive wins within the division. From 2012-16, the Colts went 23-7 overall against the AFC South, which tied for the best record against a division during that span. The Colts’ dominance also included 33 straight games without consecutive losses from Sept. 9, 2012 to Sept. 7, 2014.

The Colts’ best season under Pagano came in 2014, when he guided the team to 11 wins, which included an appearance in the AFC Championship Game, the team’s first since 2009. Indianapolis manufactured one of the best offensive seasons in franchise history that year, recording its highest single-season totals for net yards (6,506; third in the NFL) and net passing yards (4,894; first in the NFL). The Colts scored 458 points, which was the second-highest yearly total in team history while the team’s 28.6 points per game average ranked sixth in the league. Quarterback Andrew Luck set a single-season franchise record with 4,791 passing yards while setting career highs in completions (380), passing touchdowns (40; first in the NFL) and passer rating (96.5). Defensively, the Colts ranked seventh in the AFC against the pass (229.3 ypg.). Mike Adams tied for the NFL lead in takeaways (7), while Vontae Davis tied for third in the league in passes defensed (18) as the two earned their first career Pro Bowl selections.

Pagano’s first season in 2012 proved to be one of the most challenging, yet inspirational stories in NFL history when he was forced to take a leave of absence just three games into the season after being diagnosed with a curable form of leukemia. Serving as the team’s interim head coach, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and the Colts defied the odds and rallied to a 9-3 record after starting 1-2. During that time frame, Indianapolis secured a playoff berth and accomplished one of their primary goals – extending the season for the return of their head coach. As the regular season came to an end, the culmination of Arians’ stretch as interim head coach concluded with the team’s playoff-clinching victory at Kansas City (Week 16). The stage was then set for Pagano to return after missing 12 weeks of action as the Colts won their final game under Pagano in Week 17 to finish 11-5.

Pagano’s battle with leukemia led him to form the CHUCKSTRONG Foundation, which has raised more than $4.7 million for continued cancer research.

Prior to his arrival in Indianapolis, Pagano spent four seasons with the Ravens, serving as the secondary coach form 2008-10 and defensive coordinator in 2011. During his four seasons in Baltimore, Pagano’s defenses allowed the second-fewest points per game (16.3) and the second-fewest net yards (292.3) in the NFL. The Ravens also ranked third in the NFL in scoring defense during that span.

In 2011 as coordinator, Pagano’s defensive unit finished third in the NFL in total defense (288.9 ypg.), second against the run (92.6 ypg.) and fourth against the pass (196.3 ypg.) on their way to an appearance in the AFC Championship Game. The Ravens also led the league in forced fumbles (21) and had the third-most sacks in the NFL (48.0), including a franchise record-tying 9.0 sacks in Week 12 against San Francisco.

As the team’s secondary coach, Pagano led a defensive backfield that had to adjust to a number of injuries, including a significant loss of seven-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed, who started the 2010 campaign on the PUP list. Even after missing the first six games, Reed still led the league with eight interceptions in only 10 games in 2010.

In Pagano’s first season with the Ravens (2008), the team led the NFL with 26 interceptions, including Reed’s NFL-high nine picks. Reed, the league’s only unanimous (50 votes) All-Pro in 2008, was also coached by Pagano at the University of Miami (Fla.). Pagano’s secondary ranked second against the pass (179.7 ypg.) as the defense ranked No. 2 overall in the league, a drastic improvement from a No. 20 overall finish in 2007.

Pagano posted a one-year stint as the defensive coordinator at the University of North Carolina in 2007, where he rejoined head coach Butch Davis from previous stops with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Hurricanes. Prior to UNC, he spent two seasons (2005-06) as the defensive backs coach for the Oakland Raiders. In 2006, the Raiders led the NFL in pass defense, allowing just 150.8 yards per game, and ranked third in total defense at 284.8 yards per contest.

From 2001-04, Pagano coached the Cleveland secondary under then-head coach Butch Davis. In 2003, the defensive backs helped the Browns tie the franchise record for the fewest passing touchdowns allowed in a season with 13. Under Pagano’s guidance in 2001, Cleveland’s secondary accounted for 28 of the team’s NFL-leading and team-record 33 interceptions. That season, rookie cornerback Anthony Henry led the NFL with 10 picks.

Pagano returned to the University of Miami (Fla.) from 1995-2000 for his second stint at the school, coaching the Hurricanes secondary as well as serving as special teams coordinator. He coached four NFL first-round defensive backs: Duane Starks (Ravens, 10th-1998), Phillip Buchanon (Raiders, 17th-2002), Ed Reed (Ravens, 24th-2002) and Mike Rumph (49ers, 27th-2002). During Pagano’s second tenure in Miami, the Hurricanes blocked 39 kicks in 59 games and set a school record in 1996 with 12 blocked kicks.

Pagano started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at USC (1984-85) before taking the same role at Miami (Fla.) in 1986. In 1987, he started a two-year stint at Boise State University where he coached outside linebackers. Pagano then spent one season (1989) at East Carolina University coaching the secondary before moving to UNLV where he led the secondary (1990) and eventually was named defensive coordinator in 1991. In 1992, Pagano returned to East Carolina, coaching the secondary and outside linebackers for three seasons (1992-94).

Pagano was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at strong safety at the University of Wyoming, earning a degree in marketing in 1984. His younger brother, John, currently serves as senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach for the Houston Texans. Chuck and his wife, Tina, have three daughters, Tara, Taylor and Tori, and three granddaughters, Avery, Addison and Zoey.

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President & Chief Executive Officer at Chicago Bears

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Majority Owner at Chicago Bears

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Director & Senior Director-Special Projects at Chicago Bears

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Former Senior Director, Ticket Operations at Chicago Bears

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Vice President at Chicago Bears

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General Counsel at Chicago Bears

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General Manager at Chicago Bears

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Head-Administration at Chicago Bears

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Senior Director-Ticket Sales & Services at Chicago Bears

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Director-Broadcasting & Scoreboard Operations at Chicago Bears

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Chuck Pagano
Defensive Coordinator at Chicago Bears
Career History
Head Coach
Prior - 2017

Indianapolis Colts, Inc. owns and operates a professional American football franchise. It manages a football team and markets sports merchandise, match tickets and collectable game items. The company was founded on January 23, 1953 and is headquartered in Indianapolis, IN.

Defensive Coordinator
2019 - Current

The Chicago Bears Football Club, Inc. operates as a professional football team. The firm covers football operations, scouting, stadium and game operations, brand development, broadcasting and marketing partnerships. The company was founded by George Halas in 1920 and is headquartered in Lake Forest, IL.

Other Affiliations

Chuck Pagano is affiliated with Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears

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