When Chuck Pagano took the Colts' coaching job in January, little did he know what would lie ahead for him and his team. After a two-win 2011 season, Indianapolis earned the top overall pick in last April's draft and selected quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts started 1-2 with the rookie coach and QB. Then, during the Colts' bye week in September, Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. He began chemotherapy immediately and didn't return to the sideline until Week 17.
On Oct. 1, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was appointed interim coach. The man who was Peyton Manning's first NFL quarterbacks coach vowed to "extend the season" into the playoffs in Pagano's absence.
All the Colts did over the next two-and-a-half months was get to 10 wins, lock up a postseason berth and welcome the return of their coach for the regular-season finale. Now Pagano is back this week to take the reigns of a playoff team. Along the way, Pagano's fight against cancer promoted countless "Chuckstrong" stories of individual and group support, helping to raise money, awareness and hope.
Greg Gumbel looks back on one of the most inspirational sports stories of 2012 as he interviews Pagano for The NFL Today.