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Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano retiring 

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has decided it to call it a career.

Pagano, 60, is retiring, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday.

"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."

The head coach of the Indianapolis Colts for six seasons, Pagano returned to the sidelines as defensive coordinator for the Bears ahead of the 2019 season to replace Vic Fangio.

In his two autumns in Chicago, Pagano led a defense that allowed 20.9 points per game under his umbrella, which was sixth in the NFL in that time.

Pagano's days coaching in the NFL ranks began in 2001 as a secondary coach for the Cleveland Browns. He later spent time with the Raiders and Baltimore Ravens, where he was DC in 2011 before heading to Indy.

Pagano's time in Indy was one of remarkable resolve as he was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in 2012 and took an indefinite leave from his coaching duties to undergo treatment. He would miss 12 games before returning with his cancer going into remission.

News of Pagano's retirement was surprising and hardly the Bears coaching news many have been waiting on.

The Bears have yet to announce anything official in regard to the futures of head coach Matt Nagy or general manager Ryan Pace after the team went 8-8 in the regular season ahead of a season-ending blowout loss to the Saints on Super Wild Card Weekend. However, Garafolo reports that while the team has yet to say anything on Pace and Nagy, "the word going around is they're safe."

Regardless of what the future holds for the Bears elsewhere, the defense -- which has been the hallmark of the team for three seasons now -- will be looking for a new leader.

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