Chuck Pagano at peace as he enters retirement: It's time to give my family what they deserve now

Pagano's only regret was he never helped lead a team to a Super Bowl title.
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By 670 The Score

(670 The Score) Chuck Pagano made the decision last week to retire from coaching after 36 years in the profession, leaving his position as Bears defensive coordinator in order to spend more time with his family.

Pagano, 60, leaves the game at peace with his decision -- except for one moment that's missing, as he told the Adam Schefter Podcast.

"The only regret I have, the only goal really was not being able to dance in that confetti and hoist that (Super Bowl championship) trophy," Pagano said. "I just knew deep down in my heart we'd get that done in Indy, and we didn't. I knew going to Chicago, we'd have a great opportunity to do that because of that franchise, the people there, coach (Matt) Nagy and his vision. But I just had this number in mind -- 60 always stood out to me. But it was just time.

"The biggest reason would be family. You know how much our families in this profession sacrifice. For 36, 37 years, 32 of marriage with Tina, 13, 14 moves along the way, what they sacrifices and how they supported me, it was time. I'm blessed to be able to walk away and do it on my own terms.

"Tina raised my daughters. I mean, I missed so much. She was just phenomenal. You talk about a Hall of Fame wife. She's always been the rock. She's the one that did it all.

"Now it's just time for me to give them what they deserved now."

Pagano was Colts' head coach from 2012-'17 before being fired in Indianapolis. He took the 2018 season off, marking the first year he had spent away from football since entering coaching in 1984.

The Bears hired Pagano as their defensive coordinator in January 2019, a position he filled for the past two seasons. On the podcast with Schefter, Pagano didn't fully rule out a return to coaching but added being with his family is what's most important as he enters retirement.

"We've always had the motto of never say never, but I can't see it happening," he said. "The league has changed. There's a new cycle of really young and bright coaches coming in. I can't see that call happening, number one. Number two, if it did, you never say never -- unless I totally screw this retirement thing up."