We've got some sad news to pass along to you today, as former Colts head coach and offensive coordinator Lindy Infante passed away today after a lengthy illness, his wife told the Associated Press.
Infante was the Colts' offensive coordinator during their magical 1995 run in which they went 9-7, won two playoff games, and nearly beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game but instead falling just one incomplete pass short. He took over as head coach the following year, leading the Colts to another 9-7 record, another playoff berth, and another postseason loss in Pittsburgh (this time in the wild card round). The following season, however, things collapsed as the Colts finished a league-worst 3-13. Infante was fired and a new era of Colts football was ushered in, with general manager Bill Polian and quarterback Peyton Manning coming to town.
Infante was previously the head coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1988-1981, compiling a 24-40 record in Green Bay. He did lead the team to a 10-6 season in 1989 and won the NFL's Coach of the Year award for helping a franchise that hadn't had success in a long while reach some semblance of it, if just for one year. In six seasons as a head coach in the NFL (four with Green Bay, two with Indianapolis), Infante compiled a 36-60 record, had two winning seasons, and made one playoff appearance. Interestingly enough, he was the head coach of two franchises with a long streak of losing up until the season before their savior quarterback arrived. Infante was fired from the Packers in 1991, and in 1992 they traded for Brett Favre. Infante was fired from the Colts in 1997, and they drafted Peyton Manning in the subsequent NFL Draft.
The Colts tweeted this today upon hearing the news of Infante's passing:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are saddened to learn of the passing of Lindy Infante, former coach of the team. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Infante family.</p>— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) <a href="https://twitter.com/Colts/status/652241080730030081">October 8, 2015</a></blockquote>
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