Colts Fire Chuck Pagano After Six Years As Head Coach
INDIANAPOLIS – After six seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, the team has fired head coach Chuck Pagano.
The Colts announced they had fired Pagano Sunday evening about two hours after the team’s final game of the regular season after beating the Houston Texans 22-13 in Week 17.
Below is the official statement provided by the team on behalf of Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay on Pagano’s termination:
“Chuck Pagano provided Colts fans with many exciting wins and memories as head coach of the Colts. Throughout his tenure in Indianapolis, he impacted the lives of the players he coached, those who he worked with in the organization and Colts fans across the globe. Chuck’s first season was one of the more inspirational stories in NFL history as he courageously battled and overcame leukemia. As a result, his CHUCKSTRONG Foundation has raised millions for cancer research.
"We are thankful for Chuck’s contributions to our franchise and community and we wish him, Tina and the entire Pagano family nothing but the best moving forward.”
Pagano was hired in 2012 and held a 56-46 overall record including the postseason. For his first three seasons, the team finished with an 11-5 record, three straight playoff appearances and run to the AFC Championship game during the 2014-15 postseason. That would be the Colts' final game in the postseason during Pagano's tenure as head coach.
The Colts then went 8-8 for two straight seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17, following by a 4-12 season in 2017-18.
Pagano made the following statement during his final post-game press conference before he was let go as the Colts’ head coach:
“I’m very grateful to Jim Irsay and very grateful to the Irsay family. His unwavering commitment is second to none to football. He’s gave us everything that we needed. Gave me everything that I needed over the last six years to be successful. Nobody has more passion and love for the game than Jim Irsay. I’m very grateful for the opportunity that he gave me.
"Chris Ballard is one of the finest men I’ve ever worked with. He’s a great football mind. He was unbelievable. He was with us through thick and thin and supported us. He’s a great man; he’s a great person. I’ve had a great year working with him. He’s unbelievable.
"These players and coaches, like I talked about, I could go on and on and on. It would have been real easy for these guys to throw in the towel. They never did. They never quit. It’s my football family in there – those players and coaches.
"I’ve always been about relationships. It’s always been about love with me. It’s always been about connection. The price of love, sometimes you have to say goodbye. So again, I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I know I’m grateful for every one of them and challenged them to finish. What they went out and did today, to finish this game and to win this football game, I’m forever grateful to every man and all the players that I’ve had the opportunity to coach past and present.
"And then this community, the fans, they’re unbelievable. All that we’ve been through, they brought me through the fire back in 2012.
"I got great love and respect for our fans and for this community and what they’ve done for me and my family. I’m in debt of gratitude. We’ll always be Hoosiers no matter what happens.
"Again, I don’t know tomorrow brings or the next hour, I just know that right now I’ve got a lot of joy in my heart just knowing how these guys finished. They’ve got the hearts of lions. The staff and the players and this organization, again, it’s been a blessing.”
Photo credit: Getty Images / Joe Robbins