Pagano endorses candidate for FIU

Even during his recovery from leukemia, Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano still found time to try and help one of his peers.

Pagano recently called Florida International University athletic director Pete Garcia with a recommendation to fill the school's head coaching vacancy, has learned.

Although the name of who he was suggesting wasn't revealed, the Colts have confirmed Pagano's outreach to Garcia on that coach's behalf.

Considering everything else that was on his plate recently, Pagano must really think highly of that coach to make the call.

Diagnosed with leukemia in late September, Pagano has undergone aggressive chemotherapy treatments while still trying to keep tabs on the Colts from a distance. Recently given a clean bill of health, Pagano will return to the sideline for the first time Sunday against Houston after reassuming his head coaching duties earlier this week.

Pagano and Garcia became friends when both were on the University of Miami staff under Butch Davis in the late 1990s. Pagano then followed Davis to Cleveland and became the Browns' secondary coach from 2001 to 2004.

As reported earlier this week by, a contract squabble between Davis and the University of North Carolina has prevented him from taking the still-vacant FIU job. Davis is still owed roughly $1.8 million and the university has contended any coaching job he takes would offset the amount.

Davis has worked around that with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by being hired earlier this year as "special assistant" to head coach Greg Schiano, who was also on his University of Miami staff at the same time as Pagano and Garcia.

Davis was head coach at North Carolina for four seasons (2007 to 2011) before being fired amid NCAA and academic scandals involving the football team.

The FIU job opened when Garcia surprisingly fired Mario Cristobal following a 3-9 season.