ANDERSON — Chuck Pagano turned to an old friend Saturday to add a little intrigue to the Indianapolis Colts coaching staff.
Rob Chudzinski, fired in early January after just one season as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, will serve next year as special assistant to the head coach in Indianapolis. Pagano and Chudzinski have previously worked together for eight seasons at the University of Miami and with the Browns.
"Rob and I have a long professional relationship, and his resume speaks for itself," Pagano said in a press release issued by the Colts. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and will be a tremendous help to our entire team moving forward. Needless to say, we're excited to have 'Chud' joining our family."
No specifics of Chudzinski's role were announced, but it's safe to assume he'll have some involvement with the offense. As offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers in 2011, he oversaw a unit that set franchise records in total yards (6,237) and first downs (345) while quarterback Cam Newton earned offensive rookie of the year honors.
Last season, under Chudzinski's guidance, wide receiver Josh Gordon became the first Cleveland player to lead the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646. As assistant head coach/tight ends with the San Diego Chargers, Chudzinski helped Antonio Gates reach his only 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2005 and 2009.
Chudzinski played as a tight end at the University of Miami from 1986-90 and began his NFL coaching career as the tight ends coach with the Browns in 2004.
Chudzinski's hiring caps a busy week for the Colts who signed offensive tackle Jack Breckner out of the Arena Football League on Wednesday and added linebacker Henoc Muamba from the Canadian Football League on Thursday.