6:29 PM EDT, October 1, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS - With just the strike of a single nail, Chuck Pagano showed that he could "Build The Monster" while being the exact opposite of the word.
"He was laughing," remembered Geraro Herrera as the Colts coach started off constructing the first panel of the Indianapolis resident's new home in May.
It was apart of the Colts' Habitat for Humanity house for the Herrera, his wife and children. Pagano joined other coaches to build the foundation for the home for the home which would eventually end up on the east side of Indianapolis.
With just a few words and the swing of a hammer, the coach's off field reputation was cemented.
"From the beginning we have seen that spirit of service, a spirit of kindness in him" said Colts Vice President of Community Relations Stephanie Pemberton of Pagano. "On the football field he's got a lot of energy, off the football field he's got a lot of energy."
It was the latter aspect that was also on the minds of some on the day which Pagano's diagnosis of Leukemia was made public. The coach is expected to be off the Colts sidelines for at least the next two months as he begins chemotherapy treatments.
The news reached the Herrera's on Monday afternoon just as they were finishing the move inside of the house which Pagano began with the first nail strike in May. The red three-bedroom home sits on a corner on Strathmore Drive now fully painted with appliances up and running.
"Thank you Coach Pagano for doing this," said Herrera in sending best wishes to the coach. "I hope he gets better."
Admiration for the coach cam from just a brief meeting for the Herrera's and Habitat For Humanity Development Coordinator Ted Mosey. He witnessed Pagano's efforts on the May day at the complex and watched him lead the coaches as he would the team on the field.
"He got everybody ready for the day, he did the talk like you would imagine a coach would do," said Mosey of Pagano. "He just talked about serving and helping out on the panel build."
"He jumped right in and got to work with everybody else."
Mosey said Pagano has participated in other panel builds for charitable housing during his time as a coach in the NFL. May's efforts were not the only ones in the community so far as the coach sought to leave footprint on the community.
During training camp in August at Anderson University Pagano hosted a number of patients at Riley Hospital for Children, giving them a day of "VIP" access. Following practice he met individually with many of the children in hopes of raising their spirits.
"Gave each of them one-on-one time to give them not only the opportunity to meet him but also the rest of the team," said Pemberton of Pagano. "He fits in so well with the culture that we have here with the Colts of being apart of the community and being so much more than a football team."
Proof can be found with a single nail in a red house on Strathmore Drive.
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