Bruce Arians was put in an incredibly tough spot in Indianapolis this season, but he made the most of it and has come out on the other end a new head coach, a better person and AP Coach of the Year because of it. Arians made NFL history on Saturday by becoming the first ever interim head coach to win the AP Coach of the Year award.
Arians filled in for head coach Chuck Pagano while Pagano was battling leukemia this season. The story of Pagano and Arians touched so many people and it quickly became the best storyline to follow in the 2012 NFL season.
Without their head coach, many thought the Colts would fold and just wait until next year when their hearts hopefully weren’t so heavy. But Arians held his team together and was the emotional blast that propelled Indianapolis into the AFC playoffs a year after they had selected first overall in the April’s NFL Draft.
Andrew Luck’s development as a quarterback and as a team leader rapidly increased thanks to Arians and his support throughout the entire year. You really can’t script what went on in Indianapolis this season, as everything that happened was just so amazingly touching that if it were fake it would have that gross phony feel to it.
But the Colts success thanks to Arians was as genuine as it gets and the feel-good nature of the outcome was the best payoff we could have ever hoped for. Pagano is back and healthy as ever, Luck is entering his second season but it feels like he’s as mature as a veteran and Arians got his first ever head coaching job down in Arizona with the Cardinals.
The story is amazing, the emotion in incredible and the tale of Bruce Arians winning the AP Coach of the Year award will go down in history as one of the greatest football stories ever to have been told.