Colts' coach Pagano out with cancer

Bruce Arians , ex-Temple coach, will be the interim. AP
Bruce Arians , ex-Temple coach, will be the interim. AP
Posted: October 03, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - In a somber news conference Monday, the Indianapolis Colts announced that head coach Chuck Pagano had been hospitalized for leukemia treatment and probably would not return to full coaching duties this season. He will be replaced on an interim basis by former Temple coach Bruce Arians, the offensive coordinator.

"He will do fine," Arians said of Pagano, his voice cracking as he recalled his own fight with prostate cancer in 2007. "I know him. He's a fighter. He's survived tough times already in his life. As a cancer survivor myself, I know that these first few days are really hard on you but . . . it's just a matter of time."

It didn't take long for the Colts to figure out how to pay tribute to Pagano.

"I asked [Colts owner Jim] Irsay if we could leave the light on in [Pagano's] office permanently till he comes back and we are going to do that," Arians said.

The shocking news trickled out as players and assistant coaches were returning to the team complex after the Colts' bye week and one day before Pagano's 52d birthday.

Pagano was admitted to an Indianapolis hospital last Wednesday to begin treatments. Irsay said he expected Pagano to be hospitalized six to eight weeks. The Colts (1-2) host the Packers (2-2) on Sunday.

Arians had a 21-45 record with the Owls from 1983 to 1988. He had two winning seasons, going 6-5 in 1984 and 1986 (the 1986 wins were forfeited after star Paul Palmer was found to be ineligible).

"This is not an easy day for all of us," Arians said. "[This is] not the way that I had ever dreamed about addressing a group like this. But I know we are going to get through it."


This article contains information compiled by The Inquirer staff.

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