Remember when the Indianapolis Colts were “the future” of the AFC?
Well, if they’re ever going to deliver on those lofty expectations, they’ll have to do so without Chuck Pagano.
The Colts on Sunday announced they’d “parted ways” with Pagano after six seasons. Rumors of Pagano’s exit began circling Sunday morning, and the team made it official after their 22-13 win over the Houston Texans.
The Colts went 11-5 in each of Pagano’s first three seasons as head coach, advancing as far as the infamous 2014 AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. But consecutive 8-8 finishes, followed by a 4-11 record this season, convinced Indy to go in a new direction.
Still, the team is looking at Pagano’s tenure in a positive light.
“Chuck Pagano provided Colts fans with many exciting wins and memories as head coach of the Colts,” team owner and CEO Jim Irsay said in a statement. “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.”
Including the playoffs, the Colts went 56-46 after Pagano took over in 2012. In addition to searching for a new head coach, Indy also has to worry about the state of franchise quarterback Andrew Luck’s health for next season.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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