Bears DC Chuck Pagano To Retire

For a second time in three years, the Bears will need to replace their defensive coordinator. Chuck Pagano is preparing to retire, according to Kevin Fishbain and Adam Jahns of The Athletic (subscription required).

The former Colts head coach and cancer survivor spent two seasons as Chicago’s DC. The unit ranked in the top 10 in DVOA in each season. Pagano, 60, has been an NFL coach since 2001.

While Pagano’s defenses remained the anchor for offensively limited Bears teams, the group took a step back after Vic Fangio‘s 2019 departure. The Bears dropped from No. 1 in defensive DVOA in 2018 to eighth last season to eighth again this year. Certainly high marks, but with the Bears housing All-Pros in Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Eddie Jackson — and another below-average offense — the team finished 8-8 and lost a one-sided wild-card matchup in New Orleans.

Pagano coached the Colts for six seasons, leading the team to three playoff berths. Despite a 2012 cancer diagnosis, he returned to the sideline later that season. In 2013, the Colts notched the second-greatest playoff comeback in NFL history — beating the Chiefs after trailing by 28 points — and a year later ventured to the AFC championship game. Pagano’s Indianapolis run began to decline soon after, however, and ended following a 2017 season in which Andrew Luck missed.

A college coach since the mid-1980s, Pagano broke out as a head coaching candidate while with the Ravens in the late 2000s and early 2010s. He coached with the Browns and Raiders as well, working with those franchises and the Ravens as a secondary coach before a one-and-done season as Baltimore’s DC in 2011, and was with the Miami Hurricanes from 1995-2000.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 comments on “Bears DC Chuck Pagano To Retire

  1. jay13

    Always respected Chuck Pagano as a coach and a human being. Time to enjoy life after football.

  2. markdavisbarber

    I actually feel sorry for Chuck Pagano to be associated with the Raiders of the Norvell Turner and Art Shell II era….

  3. I respect the mans toughness and drive, that being said I’m elated we have to get a new DC

    • Superbear29

      Going to be hard to convince someone to come here when the HC could be gone after the 2021 season.

      • Michael Chaney

        Maybe, but on the other hand you get to work with all the talent they have on defense. If the new guy does well enough, it won’t matter what happens to Nagy because he could be a head coach somewhere else a year from now.

        • wagner13

          Not to mention, if the new coordinator does a good enough job, he could be promoted if Nagy does get fired

  4. jsay2948

    Hell of a coach, and seemed like a very decent person. Sad to see him go, but hoping he enjoys retirement.

  5. 55bums

    Recall him riding his fat wheeled bike through the village in Zionsville when he was with the Colts
    A good guy I was pleased to see get another DC gig
    Probably where his strength lies

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