Best Wishes to Chuck Pagano on Quick Recovery
INDIANAPOLIS - Former Miami Hurricanes' assistant coach and current Indianapolis Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with Acute promyelocyic leukemia (APML) and will be out of duty for a period of time. Pagano, who turns 52 on Tuesday, was diagnosed with the illness last week when the club observed its bye week.
"It's been a very difficult week," said Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay. "The coach was feeling some fatigue over the past few weeks. (He) had noticed some bruising on his body that - at first - he thought could have been from contact on the field coaching, or playing with his grandkids. Eventually through talking to his wife, Tina, she said, 'You need to check that out because the bruising appears to be more prominent.'
"We did have the coach go in and get fully evaluated on the bruising and his fatigue. The conclusion came down that he did have leukemia. Obviously, it's a very difficult blow for him, for his family."
Pagano's physician, Dr. Larry Cripe, indicated his condition is a relatively favorable form of acute leukemia in terms of a likelihood of remission and of him achieving a cure. There are specific treatments for the disease, and those procedures started on Pagano last Wednesday night.
"Chuck is very dear to this organization as a head coach," Irsay said. "The special thing about Chuck is he's a 'salt of the earth' man. You aspire to be the type of man he is. He's going to be greatly missed in terms of his intensity, his energy, his leadership."
Pagano, who served as a graduate assistant at Miami during the 1986 season, returned to the Hurricanes' football program for a five-year run as the seconday coach and special teams coordinator. In his second coaching term with the Hurricanes (1995-2000), Pagano coached four NFL first-round draftees: Duane Starks (1998), Phillip Buchanon (2002), Ed Reed (2002) and Mike Rumph (2002).
He was reunited with his former pupil Reed during his stint as secondary coach of the Baltimore Ravens from 2008-2010. In the team's first season with Pagano as an assistant coach, Baltimore led the NFL with 26 interceptions, including Reed's league-best nine picks. Pagano also served as a graduate assistant at Miami for the 1986 season.