As you probably all know by now, Chuck Pagano will replace Greg Mattison as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator.
What you may not know is that he has 27 years of coaching experience.
Pagano started his coaching career in 1984 where he was a graduate assistant at USC. From 1987-88, Pagano coached the outside linebackers at Boise State. In 1990, Pagano joined the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels as their secondary coach and, in the following season, he was named their defensive coordinator.
Between Boise State and UNLV, Pagano’s career took him to East Carolina, where he coached the secondary. After his two-year stint at UNLV, he went back to East Carolina to be their outside linebackers coach and secondary coach.
When Pagano moved to Miami in 1995, his career really took off. He coached the secondary and was the special teams coordinator for a group that blocked a single-season, school-record 12 kicks in 1996. In 1999, Pagano’s defensive backs did not allow a passing touchdown in the last 27 quarters of the season en route to a 9-4 record. Pagano coached four NFL first-round defensive backs: Ed Reed, Phillip Buchanon, Duane Starks and Mike Rumph. In 59 games with the Hurricanes, his special teams unit blocked 39 kicks.
In 2001, Pagano got his first taste of the NFL as the Browns’ secondary coach. The Browns’ secondary accounted for 28 of the team’s NFL-leading and team-record 33 interceptions and rookie cornerback Anthony Henry led the NFL with 10 picks. In 2003, the Browns’ secondary allowed a franchise-low 13 touchdowns.
Pagano left the Browns in 2004 and joined the Raiders as their defensive backs coach and, in 2006, Oakland led the NFL in pass defense, allowing just 150.8 yards per game, and ranked third in total defense, surrendering only 284.8 yards per contest. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was third in the NFL with eight interceptions.
Pagano signed on with Baltimore in 2008, where he brought the Ravens’ secondary from 20th in the NFL against the pass to second. In 2009, Ravens defensive backs tallied 16 of the team’s 22 interceptions and Baltimore’s turnover ratio (+10) was fourth-best in the NFL.
In college, Pagano was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at strong safety for Wyoming, graduating with a degree in marketing in 1984.
John Harbaugh: “Chuck’s a great secondary coach, but he’s not just a secondary coach; he’s a great football coach. He’s a great defensive mind. He understands the front end, the back end, he understands the pressure package, he understands the techniques of all the positions. And he’s more than ready to be really successful at this job.”
Ray Lewis: “I really have had a truly personal relationship with Chuck, not only from when he got here, but even before because of our ties to the “U” (University of Miami). Even though he didn’t coach me, I have known what kind of man and coach he is for a while now. He has an extreme knowledge of the game, and the way he communicates that with his players and fellow coaches is amazing.”
Haloti Ngata: “I remember earlier this year when he ran our pregame defensive meeting. He did a tremendous job of preparation and got us really fired up for the game. I know he can do it game in and game out next year.”
Ed Reed: “Chuck will do everything he can to make sure the defense is prepared for each practice and every game. The time and effort he puts in and what he will sacrifice will be more than a championship-caliber. I believe his best coaching quality is working with the other coaches and players around him. Just like Coach Mattison, Chuck will get input from everyone, and that will help him be the best coordinator he can be and us be the best defense we can be.”