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Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, Chuck Pagano, Reveals Battle with Leukemia

Book details Pagano's fight to overcome adversity through Unity, Passion and Perseverance, to attain back to back winning seasons.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zondervan announces the acquisition of "Sidelined: Overcoming Odds Through Unity, Passion and Perseverance" (ISBN: 978-0-310-34103-1; June 24, 2014). At age 51, Chuck Pagano was named head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. He was hired in January 2012, following the Colts' disappointing 2-14 season, the worst record in the National Football League. Committed to turning the team around and gaining traction in that direction daily, Pagano was devastated to learn he had leukemia three weeks into the 2012 season. He would be sidelined for an indefinite period of time and doctors thought it was improbable he'd be well enough to return during the current season.


Severe side effects of the grueling chemotherapy treatments and heavy doses of medicine kept Chuck bedridden for much of that first season. His team didn't know when, or if, he would return. But Pagano continued to coach from his bedside, texting and emailing players and members of his coaching staff, watching daily video of practices, determined to return to the game he loved to coach. 

This is a story about how a group of determined men, inspired by their ailing head coach, played with a never-give-up attitude. In spite of significant adversity, the Colts persevered and finished the regular season with an 11-5 record, going on to win a spot in the playoffs. Seven of the team's 11 victories were come-from-behind wins late in the fourth quarter. During those games, they came back with the belief that Chuck would, too. The team far exceeded the expectations of the pundits that had predicted a dismal season. 

"Sidelined" is a story about the strength and power of community support. Thousands of Colts fans got behind their beloved team's head coach, a newcomer in town. To fight leukemia, CHUCKSTRONG was formed and millions of dollars were raised. NFL cheerleaders even shaved their heads to raise money. 

It's also a story about faith in God. Every day in the hospital room, Chuck and his wife, Tina, would have a devotional and read from the book, "Jesus Calling."  They'd also listen to "Our Daily Bread." A friend of Chuck's shared, "God has a plan for you:  In Jeremiah 29:11, it is written, 'I have a plan for you.'  Chuck, God has a plan for you."  And it kept the fire to bounce back burning.

"Sidelined" delivers a strong message on how a group of selfless individuals with a sense of purpose can triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. 

"This is perhaps one of the most dramatic stories in professional football, and it demonstrates the true meaning of teamwork and the power of community to pull together during adversity," says Zondervan Vice President and Publisher David Morris. "The book reveals the tenacity of Chuck Pagano, Coach of the Indianapolis Colts, one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NFL today."

"Sidelined" was acquired by David Morris for Zondervan. Rep1 Sports represents the project. A robust national marketing and publicity campaign are planned for the launch.

"The story of Pagano's triumph over a debilitating illness while the team went playoff bound from a losing record the season before, demonstrates leadership principles (about family, relationships, and faith) not only for today's NFL but for living in today's world," Morris concludes.

Book Details:
"Sidelined: Overcoming Odds Through Unity, Passion and Perseverance"
by Chuck Pagano with Bruce A. Tollner
ON SALE: June 24, 2014

$24.99 Hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-310-34103-1


About Zondervan
Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. For more than 80 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The company's products are sold in multiple formats, worldwide in more than 60 countries, translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit

SOURCE Zondervan

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