Colts coach Pagano wins George Halas Award
The recipient of this year’s George Halas Award is Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano.
The Pro Football Writers of America announced Monday that Pagano has been selected as the 44th Halas Award winner. He is the third NFL head coach and fourth member of the Colts franchise to receive the honor.
The award is presented annually by the PFWA to any NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes adversity to succeed. This award is fitting for Pagano because no one overcame more adversity last year than the first-year coach.
Early last season, Pagano was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia and took a leave of absence. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians took over interim head coaching duties while Pagano underwent 12 weeks of treatment. Even from his hospital bed, Pagano remained in constant contact with his coaching staff and worked on game plans while he was recovering from the disease, NBC News reported.
In November, Pagano’s doctors announced that he was in remission, but would continue to go through chemotherapy. The Colts started a CHUCKSTRONG campaign and turned around their 2-14 record from the previous year to go 11-5 and reach the playoffs.
Former winners of the award include Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers, Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and former Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy.