The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) announced yesterday that the Bears Matt Nagy is their 2018 NFL Coach of the year. Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard was selected as the 2018 NFL Executive of the Year. Vic Fangio, former Bears defensive coordinator and new head coach of the Denver Broncos was selected as 2018 Assistant Coach of the Year.
The PFWA is the official voice of pro football writers. Nagy and Fangio led the Bears to the NFL North crown with a 12-4 regular season, bouncing back from a 5-11 mark in 2017. The PFWA reported that Nagy’s honor was the Bears sixth coach of the year honor. Dick Jauron was the NFL Coach of the Year in 2001 and Lovie Smith was the NFL Coach of the Year in 2005. The award worked differently for a period of time when coaches were chosen separately form the NFC and AFC. Jack Pardee was the NFC Coach of the Year in 1976, Mike Ditka was the NFC Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1988.
Fangio’s defense led the league in fewest points per game allowed, fewest rushing yards, takeaways, and interceptions, and the Bears defense hold a cadre of other defensive marks for 2018. Fangio had some big talent this past year with four Pro-Bowlers: Linebacker Khalil Mack, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, and defensive backs Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller
Ron Rivera, Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers since 2011, won the 2005 Assistant Coach of the Year when he was with the Bears.
The Colts under Ballard improved their personnel with drafts and acquisitions that marked a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.