It's looking very likely that head coach Chuck Pagano will not be back with the Indianapolis Colts in 2016, barring a miraculous playoff run. A season that began with Super Bowl expectations now sees the Colts at 3-4 through seven games and without a non-division win. As such, much of the talk has moved on from "should the Colts fire Pagano" to "who should be their next head coach?"
Something that hasn't been talked about as much is where Chuck Pagano's next stop would be, assuming he is indeed fired by the Colts at the end of the season. There are sure to be several other NFL job openings, and Pagano's production in the NFL will surely make him a draw to some franchises looking to turn their fortunes around. But what about a college job? Not many people have mentioned that, but as FOX Sports' Peter Schrager reminds, we can't rule it out. In fact, Schrager said this evening that he's heard Pagano's name mentioned in connection to the current opening at the University of Miami.
A name I've had more than one person in the know mention for U of Miami job-- Chuck Pagano (if available). Spent 6 years there in 90's.— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) October 27, 2015
If there's one college job that would make sense for Chuck Pagano, it would be the opening at Miami. They are a mess right now and just fired head coach Al Golden yesterday, and it could be possible that they give Pagano a look. After all, one of Pagano's first jobs in coaching came as a graduate assistant at Miami in 1986, and then he returned to the school to coach from 1995-2000 as their secondary coach and special teams coordinator. During his time at the school, Miami had one of the best secondaries in the nation and he coached four eventual NFL first round draft picks.
None of that, of course, means that Pagano would make a great college head coach, but the name would certainly have to at least pique the interest of the Miami brass as they consider the possibility that Pagano, who has had success at the NFL level and who is a former Miami assistant, could become available. Ultimately, the fact that the Colts will likely be playing in January in the playoffs could hurt Pagano's chances at getting the job (as it would delay the head-start at recruiting). Furthermore, I'm not sure how likely it actually would be that Pagano goes to Miami - but it's definitely a name worth considering and keeping an eye on, and FOX Sports' Peter Schrager notes that people in the know are certainly doing that.
To be honest, another Colts coach, Rob Chudzinski, seems to be generating more talk for the Miami job at the time being than Pagano is. Chudzinski is the assistant head coach to Pagano with the Colts now and has served as the offensive coordinator for the Panthers and head coach for the Browns in recent years as well. He was a three-year starter at tight end for Miami as a player and won two national championships, and then he coached at the school from 1994-2003 - spending time as a graduate assistant (1994-1995), tight ends coach (1996-2000), and offensive coordinator (2001-2003). If Miami looks to a current Colts coach for their opening, Rob Chudzinski could have a strong case for the job as well as Chuck Pagano.