The Bears are looking to become more offensive-minded under Nagy, who served as the offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs prior to becoming the Bears' new head coach.
Fangio runs a 3-4 defense like the Cardinal have had for several seasons.
The 59-year-old coach was being pursued by other teams, including the Green Bay Packers, for their defensive coordinator positions, but those opportunities seemed to dry up, so Fangio's return to Chicago seemed likely. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Stitcher Radio. Nagy and Pace were measured in their remarks at Tuesday's introductory news conference, but by the end of that night, signs were pointing toward a return.
Fangio returned from the West Coast early Wednesday and was in discussions with the team that day.
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Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. By no means did that close off all options for Fangio. The Bears defense finished in the top-10 in points allowed (9th), total yards (10th) and passing yards (7th) in 2017. He had been connected with Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and was viewed as a possibility to pair with him in the event Shurmur gets a head-coaching job.
Fangio became a free agent Tuesday after declining a contract extension last offseason.
Helfrich is Nagy's fourth reported coaching hire and the first without ties to Lovie Smith's Bears staff. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve after the game.
Hiring a veteran defensive coordinator was paramount for Nagy, a first-time head coach who will be directing the offense.
The Bears have hired former OR head coach Mark Helfrich as offensive coordinator, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter. But he's the second arrival from the college ranks, joining former Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, whose securing by Nagy on Thursday was met with rave reviews.