Ravens hire Pagano

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens have hired University of North Carolina defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano as a defensive assistant, Tar Heels officials confirmed Pagano coached the Tar Heels' secondary and has coached the Oakland Raiders' secondary and the Cleveland Browns in recent years.

"I appreciate everything Chuck did to help us improve our defense last season," UNC head coach Butch Davis said in a statement. "He has a great opportunity to return to the NFL and I wish him the best."

It's unclear what position Pagano will coach, but he could wind up as an assistant secondary coach.

The Tar Heel' defensive unit ranked 35th nationally in 2007 in total defense, including ranking 27th in the nation in pass defense. This was a stark improvement from 2006, where UNC's overall defense ranked No. 92 in the country. UNC hired Pagano in Jan. 2007 from the Raiders, where he served as defensive backs coach for two seasons.

Chuck Pagano enters his first season as North Carolina's defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. Pagano, who was a member of head coach Butch Davis's previous staffs in Miami and Cleveland, comes to Chapel Hill after serving two seasons as the Oakland Raiders' defensive backs coach.

In 2006, the Raiders led the National Football League in pass defense, allowing just 150.8 yards per game, and ranked third in total defense, giving up 284.8 yards per contest. One of Pagano's pupils, Nnamdi Asomugha, finished third in the league with eight interceptions.

Pagano coached the secondary and was special teams coordinator under Davis at Miami from 1995-2000, where he recruited and coached four firstround NFL draft picks - cornerback Phillip Buchanan, cornerback Duane Starks, safety Ed Reed and cornerback Mike Rumph.

During the 2000 season, his secondary was tabbed the nation's best by Football News. His defensive backs did not allow a passing touchdown over the last 27 quarters of the 1999 season. As the Hurricanes' special teams coordinator, Miami blocked 39 kicks in 59 games, including a single-season school record 12 blocks in 1996.

Pagano was Davis's secondary coach in Cleveland from 2001-04. In 2003, his unit helped the Browns tie a franchise record for the fewest passing touchdown allowed with 13. Under Pagano's tutelage in 2001, the secondary accounted for 28 of the Browns' NFL-leading 33 interceptions, which also set a new team mark. As a rookie in 2001, Cleveland cornerback Anthony Henry led the league with 10 interceptions.

A native of Boulder, Colo., Pagano was a four-year letterwinner and two-year starter at the University of Wyoming. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at USC from 1984-85 before serving in the same capacity at Miami in 1986. He was outside linebackers coach at Boise State from 1987-88, then coached defensive backs at East Carolina (1989) and UNLV (1990). In 1991, Pagano was defensive coordinator for UNLV. He returned to ECU to coach defensive backs and outside linebackers from 1992-94.

Pagano and his wife, Tina, have three children, Tara, Taylor and Tori.

The Pagano File

Date and Place of Birth: Born October 2, 1960 in Boulder, Colo.

Family: Wife, Tina; daughters, Tara, Taylor, Tori

Education: Wyoming, 1984

Playing Experience: 1980-84, Wyoming

Coaching Experience: 1984-85, Southern California (graduate assistant coach); 1986, Miami (graduate assistant coach); 1987-88, Boise State (assistant coach/outside linebackers); 1989, East Carolina (assistant coach/defensive backs); 1990, UNLV?(assistant coach/defensive backs); 1991, UNLV?(assistant coach/defensive coordinator); 1992-94, East Carolina (assistant coach/defensive backs/outside linebackers); 1995-2000, Miami (assistant coach/secondary/special teams coordinator); 2001-04, Cleveland Browns (assistant coach/defensive backs); 2005-06, Oakland Raiders (assistant coach/defensive backs); 2007-present, North Carolina (assistant coach/defensive coordinator/defensive backs)

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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