Chuck Pagano Returning For 2017 Season

Intro: With new GM Chris Ballard hired, he will be working with Chuck Pagano for the 2017 season. Pagano will be the Colts head coach in 2017.

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INDIANAPOLIS – The tandem of Chris Ballard and Chuck Pagano will be leading the Colts in 2017.

With Ballard being named general manager on Sunday evening, the new GM confirmed on Monday that Pagano will indeed be the team's head coach for a sixth season.

"There were no other (head coaching) options," Ballard said, referencing that Pagano was definitely his guy for head coach.

"Chuck Pagano is a good football coach in the National Football League. Three 11-5 seasons. Went to the AFC Championship game. Had two 8-8s, back-to-back. But he's won 49 games. We need to keep our eye on how hard it is to win in this league. It's hard to win. He's won 49 games in the National Football League. It's Chuck Pagano, his staff and we are rolling."

This will be the second general manager Pagano has worked with in Indianapolis.

After five seasons with Ryan Grigson, Pagano will be alongside Ballard, who brings seven years of college coaching experience to his first ever general manager gig.

On Monday, during his introductory press conference, Ballard did not shy away from stressing the importance in a cohesive relationship between head coach and GM.

"It's essential," Ballard said of the compatibility. "I just left (Kansas City) where (GM) John Dorsey and (head coach) Andy Reid are tied at the hip. They made decisions together.

"Me and Chuck will make decisions together for the best interest for the Indianapolis Colts."

During the interview process, Jim Irsay had Pagano meet with each of the six candidates, clearing indicating what the Owner had said following the firing of Ryan Grigson---Pagano would be the coach in 2017.

When Irsay and Ballard spoke about the head coach, they reached the same sentiment.

"From Chris and I talking, there's no question the best thing for this franchise is Chris coming in with Chuck going into 2017 and going forward that way," Irsay said on Monday.

"It gives us a basis of continuity, a seamless sort of knowledge going into this important draft."

Ballard comes to Indianapolis after working in Kansas City for the last four years.

At Sunday's Pro Bowl, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid caught up with Colts.com to share his thoughts on the new partnership between Ballard and Pagano.

"(Ballard) and Chuck will hit it off," Reid said. "They will do a nice job. I'm all in with Chris and we will miss him. He's been a big part of our thing.

"The Colts are right there, so this will be a nice addition (for them)."

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