The Colts fired him after a 4-12 finish in 2017, and he did not coach this season. Pagano accrued a 53-43 record with the Colts, though most of his wins came during the first half of his tenure. Pagano guided the Colts to three consecutive postseason appearances, culminating in a trip to the 2014 AFC championship game, prior to going 20-28 over his last three seasons, leading to his firing. The Colorado native also gained fame through the team's CHUCKSTRONG movement when he was forced to take a leave of absence in 2012 after he was diagnosed with leukemia.
Pagano was the Ravens defensive coordinator in 2011, when they went 12-4 and ranked third in total defense, third in points allowed, second against the run, fourth against the pass and third in sacks.
The Bears have been searching for a replacement since Vic Fangio on Wednesday accepted a promotion to become the Broncos' head coach.
The 58-year-old Pagano will walk into as ideal a situation as one can find as a defensive coordinator, tasked with figuring out what to do with a treasure trove of defensive playmakers. Pagano coached the Ravens' secondary from 2008 to 2010.
Chicago's defense led the league with 36 takeaways and 27 interceptions under Fangio. By 2017, it was ranked in the top 10 in both scoring and yardage for the first time since Lovie Smith's final year, and last season it was among the best defenses in recent National Football League memory.