Chuck Pagano issues statement following retirement

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Alyssa Barbieri
·3 min read
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The Chicago Bears will be on the hunt for a new defensive coordinator following an official announcement that Chuck Pagano is retiring after 18 years coaching in the NFL.

Pagano served as Chicago’s defensive coordinator from 2019-20, where he led a Bears defense that ranked among the top 10 in both years. Pagano replaced Vic Fangio, who went on to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos following the 2018 season.

In two seasons under Pagano, the Bears defense ranked fourth in the NFL in points allowed (18.6 per game) and eighth in yards (324.1) in 2019 and 13th in points (23.0) and 11th in yards (347.3) in 2020.

Pagano released a statement through ChicagoBears.com, where he thanked the Bears organization, as well the Indianapolis Colts organization, which supported him through his battle with leukemia.

“After 36 years of coaching the game I love, I have decided to retire from the National Football League,” Pagano said in a statement.

“I’d like to sincerely thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing organization. Also, many thanks to the Irsay family and the Colts organization. I am forever grateful to that community and to the support they have always given me both on and off the field. I’d also like to thank all the coaches, players and staff throughout my career. Thank you will never be enough to express my gratitude.

“As much as I love coaching, it takes a lot of time away from your family and loved ones. I’m excited to start this new chapter of my life and can’t wait to be able to spend more time with my family. This has been an amazing ride and I have made countless relationships that I will cherish forever.”

Bears head coach Matt Nagy also commented on Pagano’s retirement, noting that Pagano broke the news to him on Tuesday morning.

“I did not know Chuck at all prior to these last two years,” Nagy said, “and what he’s brought to us and what he’s taught us—everybody in our family here—is second to none. For him to come to me [Tuesday] morning and break the news to me and just say it’s time to call it a career and he’s going to walk away, he’s sacrificed, his family’s sacrificed so much for him and now it’s time for him to sacrifice for them. He’s at total peace with it, and so I just think again thank you coach for that and he’s going to be a great grandad and enjoy that family time.”

List

4 candidates to replace Chuck Pagano as Bears defensive coordinator