|Birth||24 September 1947|
|Height and weight||183 cm / 85 kg|
|Debut||1967, North Melbourne vs. , at|
|Team(s)||Total - 143 games 5 goals|
|Team(s)||Total - 328 games, 171 wins, 155 losses, 2 draws|
|¹ Statistics to end of 2007 season|
Pagan played 120 games for the North Melbourne Football Club between 1967 and 1974, kicking 5 goals, mainly due to his permanent spot as a hard-nosed defender in the back pocket. He represented Victoria in State of Origin in 1971.
After the Grand Final loss to Richmond in 1974, Pagan was pushed out by Barassi. Although Pagan's dwindling form and the club's reassessment of its squad in the aftermath of 1974 loss, Pagan then moved back to his original roots (excepting Carlton, where Barassi expelled him in 1966) to South Melbourne for two seasons, 1975-1976, playing 23 games and kicking 0 goals. However, these events did not deter Pagan from his dedication to the North Melbourne football club, despite Barassi's authoritative coaching style.
Pagan first came to North Melbourne in 1993 without any Australian Football League coaching experience, and at 45 years of age, made his AFL coaching debut at a late age. Pagan had earlier taken North Melbourne Under 19s to 5 Premierships during the late 1980s and early 1990s, before he took the Essendon Football Club reserves to a premiership in 1992. Given Pagan's amazing level of success at the lower levels, it was only a matter of time before Pagan was offered a senior appointment.
He had an immediate impact at the Kangaroos, taking the side to premierships in 1996 and 1999.
He was known for pioneering a successful tactic which was termed "Pagan's Paddock", based around his key forwards Wayne Carey and John Longmire. The coaching strategy involved moving all forwards out of the 50-metre arc and midfielders bombing the ball into empty space. The key forwards would run with the flight of the ball to take a mark or running goal.
By the end of his term at North Melbourne, he had established an impeccable reputation as a senior AFL coach and the longest serving coach in the club's history. His worst season at North Melbourne was 2001, when the club missed the finals for the only time during his 10-year term at the club.
Pagan quit the North Melbourne Football Club at the end of the 2002 season, despite the team far-exceeding all expectations in finishing 7th), which was never expected after Wayne Carey left the club at the beginning of the year after his much-publicised affair. At the end of 2002 he was poached by then Carlton President John Elliot to take up a new job at the Carlton Football Club.
Several Carlton footballers have become good footballers under his tutelage. Two in particular are Brendan Fevola and Lance Whitnall. Brendan was the subject of speculation in 2002 as a possible delisted player. By 2006 he won the Coleman Medal as the AFL's leading goal kicker. Lance was also considered a possible delisting in 2003. Football commentator Garry Lyon had published in the newspapers stating that Lance was at the end of his career at just 23 years old. Three years later, in 2006 Lance won the John Nicholls medal as the best and fairest player at Carlton.
He has often been criticised for the lack of performance at Carlton during a time of financial crisis, and his lucrative 3 year incentive based contract. He has also come under fire for what some believe to be an overly "Fev-centric" gameplan, revolving around star forward Brendan Fevola and neglecting other forwards to the team's detriment. After much controversy and speculation over him leading the side to the 2006 wooden spoon, there were talks that he may be sacked. However, after a 6-hour meeting, it was decided that Pagan would stay on at least until the end of the 2008 season.
On 23 July 2007, Pagan was sacked as coach of Carlton. He was not bitter at the club's decision, and wanted to go on record that he would never have quit as the coach of the Carlton Football Club. The day before, Carlton had suffered a 117 point belting at the hands of the Brisbane Lions in Round 16 2007. It would prove to be the nail in the coffin for Pagan and his job. Pagan had a year to go on his contract which was paid out full by the club. nine months later in The Herald Sun newspaper pagan also stated that coaching Carlton was "the worst job he's ever had". As of 2008 Pagan will be a board member at North Melbourne.
|1982-1991||North Melbourne Under 19s||238||193||44||1||-||81.30%|
Melbourne Football Club coach
1993 – 2002
|Carlton Football Club
2003 – 2007