San Diego Chargers hire Mike McCoy as head coach

January 15, 2013

The San Diego Chargers have hired former Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy to be the 15th head coach in team history.

“It’s an honor and privilege to have an opportunity to work for a great organization like the San Diego Chargers,” said McCoy. “It’s exciting for me to come to an organization like the Chargers and the beautiful city of San Diego at the start of a new era and the beginning of a new culture.  Change is good in this business and, to me, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

McCoy, 40, helped the Broncos to their second-highest win total in franchise history as they went 13-3 and entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Broncos won 11 straight games to end the regular season, the second-longest streak in team history, and became only the seventh Super Bowl-era team to win their final 11 contests.

McCoy will inherit a roster with lesser overall talent than the one he worked with in Denver. One particular concern is Charger quarterback Philip Rivers, who seemed to regress this past season. As such, one of McCoy's top priorities will be to help Rivers to return to form, much as he did with Peyton Manning last year.

With McCoy at the helm of the Broncos’ offense, quarterback Peyton Manning threw a team-record 37 touchdown passes, while posting the second-best season of his career in yards (4,659) and completion percentage (68.6%). The Broncos ranked fourth in the NFL in total offense.

McCoy's coaching was perhaps even more impressive in 2011, as he revamped the entire Denver offense into a read-option attack to maximize the running talents of young quarterback Tim Tebow. The Broncos upset the heavily-favored Pittsburgh Steelers in playoff Wild Card matchup when Tim Tebow threw an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime.

“We set out to find the right man to lead the San Diego Chargers on the field and that man is Mike McCoy,” team President Dean Spanos said. “The interview process was an excellent experience.  We were very thorough during the process and made sure we did our due diligence.  We interviewed five extremely-qualified, highly-sought-after coaches.  It was a tough decision, but in the end, all signs pointed to Mike."

“Mike has all of the qualities we were looking for in a head coach and a leader," Spanos said. "He has a very structured vision about how to build and run a football team.  Mike and Tom think very much alike and share very similar beliefs. Mike has shown he has one of the most innovative minds in football.  He has a track record of building offenses and maximizing the abilities of his players."

“Change is good.  It’s no longer business as usual for the San Diego Chargers. With (new General Manager) Tom Telesco leading our player personnel department and Mike McCoy leading our team on the field, I think we have the right men in place to lead the Chargers back to where we belong … in the playoffs and to the Super Bowl.”

McCoy played quarterback at Long Beach State and the University of Utah before signing with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 1995. He ended up spending his rookie season on the practice squad in Green Bay and then had stops with NFL Europe’s Amsterdam Admirals, his hometown San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles before concluding his playing career with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders in 1999.

McCoy transitioned into coaching a year later, joining the Carolina Panthers for nine seasons before moving on to Denver.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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