Colts name Pagano head coach

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (right) and Chuck Pagano talk with the defence during training camp...

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (right) and Chuck Pagano talk with the defence during training camp at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., Aug. 6, 2011. (ROB CARR/Getty Images/AFP)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 6:33 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Colts have named former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano as the team's next head coach.

The Colts, coming off a 2-14 season, needed a new head coach after getting rid of Jim Caldwell last week.

The 51-year-old Pagano was the Ravens' defensive coordinator in 2011. His unit ranked third in the NFL in points allowed and average yards per game.

Pagano was Baltimore's defensive backs coach for three seasons prior to taking over the defence. The vaunted defence finished as the NFL's No. 3 scoring defence (fewest points allowed) from 2008-10.

"It's difficult to leave the Ravens but I couldn't pass up on this great opportunity. I'm just thrilled and so excited," Pagano said on Baltimore's website.

Pagano's first-ever head coaching job at any level will be a challenging one.

Star quarterback Peyton Manning's neck injury led to a dismal 2011 campaign. The Colts were awful in Manning's absence, losing their first 13 games before winning two in a row. A loss to Jacksonville in the season-finale secured the top overall pick in the upcoming draft and began an offseason housecleaning.

Longtime executive Bill Polian and his general manager son Chris were the first to go. Ryan Grigson was then brought in as general manager to begin reshaping a franchise that had won eight division titles and suffered through just one losing season between 1999 and 2010.

Pagano was the defensive backs coach for the Oakland Raiders (2005-06) and secondary coach with the Cleveland Browns (2001-04). He has also held a string of jobs at the collegiate level.

Indianapolis will hold a 3 p.m. (ET) press conference on Thursday to announce the hiring.


Videos

Photos