INDIANAPOLIS -- After the Indianapolis Colts’ first losing season in six years, the team has fired head coach Chuck Pagano.
Pagano was let go Sunday, following the team’s 22-13 win against the Texans. The team finished the 2017 season 4-12.
Pagano seemed to know something was coming. He took the time during his post-game press conference after the team's win against the Texans on Sunday to thank the team, Irsay and his family and the fans for everything they've done for and meant to him over the past six seasons.
"I do know that I'm very grateful to Jim Irsay. I'm very grateful to the Irsay family. His unwavering commitment to football is second to none and he gave us - gave me - everything we needed to be successful."
Below, RTV6 Sports Director Dave Furst looks back on the highs and lows of Chuck Pagano's years with the Indianapolis Colts:
Following the press conference, ESPN reporter Mike Wells tweeted that Pagano "went around the locker room tearfully hugging each player after the game." He was also given the game ball by Colts owner Jim Irsay before the two joined several members of the Colts legal team behind closed doors.
The Colts’ season was dreadful from Week 1 when the L.A. Rams beat the team 46-9. Star quarterback Andrew Luck missed the entire season after a shoulder surgery in January.
In his six years as head coach, Pagano ended his record at 53-45.
In 2012, Pagano won over Indianapolis with the #ChuckStrong campaign after he was diagnosed with Leukemia. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians went 9-3 in Pagano’s absence.
FROM 2012 | 'Chuckstrong' Hoosiers roll up sleeves in support of Coach Pagano | Indianapolis company fashions special 'Get Well Coach' T-shirts for Chuck Pagano | Colts fans snatch up wristbands, make donations in support of 'ChuckStrong' effort for Chuck Pagano
Now that the Chuck Pagano Era is officially over, the Colts will look for their next head coach.
Here are a few popular names to be the Colts' head coaches next season:
- Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator, New England Patriots
- Jon Gruden, current ESPN analyst
- Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator, Minnesota Vikings
- John DeFilippo, quarterbacks coach, Philadelphia Eagles
IN-DEPTH | A look at the next Colts coaching candidates
At a press conference Monday, Colts General Manager Chris Ballard offered some insight into wht he was looking for a in a potential head coach.
“I want somebody who wants to come to the Indianapolis Colts. I don’t want them to come here just for Andrew Luck," Ballard said. "I want somebody that wants to build something special and build a team that’s special. If a candidate’s coming here just for Andrew, then he’s probable not the right fit.”
Ballard also told reporters he has no preference on whether the team's new head coach comes from an offensive or defensive coaching background -- or even if they have previous history as a head coach.
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