Solutions June 2018 - Page 51

Storm Drive or Destiny Driven? By Samuel Rodriguez After a career spent as a coaching assistant with various college and NFL teams, Chuck Pagano became the Colts’ head coach in 2012. Unfortunately, only three weeks into the regular season, the unthinkable happened: the rookie coach was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. Forced to step away from his dream job, Coach Pagano faced weeks of chemotherapy treatments and an uncertain future. Confined to his hospital room, Pagano nonetheless continued to coach from his bedside, often emailing and texting players as well as members of his coaching staff. Drawing on their Christian faith, he and his wife, Tina, refused to succumb to fear. D u r i n g P a g a n o ’s t r e a t m e n t a n d recovery, Bruce Arians, the team’s offensive coach and himself a cancer survivor, stepped into the leader’s role. The team already faced the daunting challenge of turning around their previous 2–14 record and breaking in a rookie quarterback. With their new coach sidelined, it seemed likely the Colts would endure another uneven year with a losing record. But something happened as their coach’s battle off the field galvanized the team: they began winning, both on and off the field. Despite significant adversity, the Colts finished the regular season with an 11–5 record and won a spot in the playoffs, far exceeding what most experts had predicted. In addition to winning game after game as underdogs, the Colts also helped form CHUCKSTRONG, a nonprofit dedicated to raising money for cancer Solutions • 51