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It’s official: Indianapolis Colts name Josh McDaniels next head coach

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels looks on during the first half against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

UPDATE: 

Tuesday evening, it was announced that Josh McDaniels has decided not to accept the job as Colts head coach.

ORIGINAL STORY:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts officially announced the hiring of Josh McDaniels as head coach, the first step in the franchise’s quest to return to relevancy and regain its status as a championship-caliber team.

The clear favorite as general manager Chris Ballard’s coaching search unfolded, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator agreed to a multi-year contract with the team Tuesday. A press conference to formally introduce McDaniels as Chuck Pagano’s replacement is scheduled for Wednesday.

The team made the announcement via its Twitter account:

The announcement ended a month-long search following the Dec. 31 firing of Pagano, who exited after six seasons and an overall record of 56-46. The Colts finished 4-12 last season and missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons for the first time in nearly three decades.

It also was anticlimactic.

McDaniels, 41, had emerged as the clear front-runner and was the only candidate who merited a second interview. That occurred Jan. 27 in Foxborough, Mass., and owner Jim Irsay joined Ballard for the follow-up.

The only hurdle to the Colts and McDaniels making it official was New England’s appearance in Super Bowl LII Sunday in Minneapolis. Once that business was taken care of – the Patriots fell 41-33 to the Philadelphia Eagles even though McDaniels’ offense set a postseason record with 613 total yards – the Colts had their latest leader.

McDaniels declined to address his imminent relocation to Indy following the game.

“I’m just going to talk about this game,” he said. “I’m going to respect the guys that just competed and played their hearts out.”

However, Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots’ all-world tight end, virtually confirmed McDaniels’ pending departure.

“He’s leaving to be a head coach,” he said. “It just shows how great of a coach he is.

“When you see opportunities like that, you just take them.”

McDaniels saw an opportunity to make amends for his first head coaching experience. He was handed the reins of the Denver Broncos in 2009, but lasted less than two seasons.

McDaniels, 33 at the time, admitted he handled that situation poorly. He was fired in December 2010 after the underachieving and splintered Broncos posted an 11-17 record on his watch. The final straw was when the NFL fined McDaniels for not reporting that one of his assistants, without his knowledge, taped an opponent’s practice.

“Sometimes,” he said in the days leading up to Super Bowl LII, “I think failure is a great teacher.”

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51