The Chuck Pagano era is over in Indianapolis.
Pagano's fate comes as little surprise following a rash of reports that he would be let go after missing the playoffs for a third straight season. The firing came shortly after the team's 22-13 win over the Texans.
"Chuck Pagano provided Colts fans with many exciting wins and memories as head coach of the Colts," team owner and CEO Jim Irsay said in a statement. "Throughout his tenure in Indianapolis, he impacted the lives of the players he coached, those who he worked with in the organization and Colts fans across the globe."
Said Irsay: "Chuck's first season was one of the more inspirational stories in NFL history as he courageously battled and overcame leukemia. As a result, his CHUCKSTRONG Foundation has raised millions for cancer research. We are thankful for Chuck's contributions to our franchise and community and we wish him, Tina and the entire Pagano family nothing but the best moving forward."
With a 53-43 record in Indianapolis, Pagano was undone this season by the absence of star passer Andrew Luck and a remaining roster that struggled to compete in the AFC.
The team's 12 losses this season are their most since 2011, but the Colts haven't been a viable AFC contender in years. Luck's litany of injuries have hurt, but this club has also failed to fix long-standing issues on defense and along the offensive line.
Chris Ballard did his best to work with Pagano -- who was lucky to keep his job after last season -- but it's no surprise that first-year general manager would want an opportunity to pick his own coach.
With Luck in line to return to form next season, this looms as an attractive landing spot for offensive-minded candidates. As for Pagano, he's a lock to find another gig -- just not as a head coach.