INDIANAPOLIS – Chuck Pagano returned as Indianapolis Colts coach today, fighting back tears in a news conference as he thanked all those who helped him through his battle with leukemia.
Pagano met with the team at 10 a.m. Monday, then talked and took questions from reporters Monday afternoon.
Pagano expressed appreciation to his family, the organization, his coaches, fans and media. He said he couldn't think of a better city or franchise.
“It's really overwhelming,” he said. “The whole thing was overwhelming and very humbling. … As I said in the locker room, this team has chosen to live in a vision and not in circumstances. My job as head football coach is just beginning all over again.”
Pagano will resume his duties as coach immediately, with interim coach Bruce Arians returning to his role as offensive coordinator. Arians and other coaches attended the news conference, as did players Reggie Wayne, Cory Redding and Tom Zbikowski.
“I know exactly why I'm here now,” Pagano said. “This is the place you'd want to be, starting with the owner on down. These are the finest people I've ever been around and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Wayne talks about Pagano's return in the accompanying video.