Chargers hire Turner as new head coach

Chargers hire Turner as new head coach

Chargers hire Turner as new head coach
By Len Pasquarelli

Hoping the third time will be a winner for Norv Turner, the San Diego Chargers on Monday hired the San Francisco offensive coordinator to succeed Marty Schottenheimer as head coach.

The Chargers are giving Norv Turner his third crack at being an NFL head coach. He's 58-82-1 with one playoff appearance in nine seasons leading an NFL team.

The Chargers have scheduled a 4:30 p.m. ET news conference to introduce Turner as their new head coach.

Turner, 54, compiled a 58-82-1 record as head coach of the Washington Redskins (1994-2000) and the Oakland Raiders (2004-2005). He served as the San Francisco offensive coordinator last season and was credited with the dramatic progress achieved by 49ers' second-year quarterback Alex Smith.

Contract details were not immediately available.

One of six known candidates interviewed by San Diego officials after Schottenheimer was dismissed, Turner was the lone man with primary expertise on the offensive side. Originally, it was believed the Chargers preferred that their new head coach have a background on the defensive side of the ball.

Turner interviewed earlier this month for the head coach vacancy in Dallas, where he played a big role as the Cowboys' offensive coordinator during the team's dominance in the 1990s, but did not land that job.

In San Diego, he will inherit a high-octane Chargers offense featuring star tailback and 2006 most valuable player LaDainian Tomlinson. But Turner will also be responsible for the continued development of quarterback Philip Rivers, who was in his first year as the starter in 2006.

Longtime league assistant coach Ted Cottrell, whose experience with the 3-4 defense is extensive, will meet early this week with San Diego officials about the position of defensive coordinator for the Chargers, sources told

The interview could take place as early as Monday and, barring complications, should result in the Chargers hiring Cottrell, who worked in the NFL office in 2006. It is believed Turner has already approved the addition of Cottrell to his staff.

The focus on Cottrell, who has a past history with San Diego general manager A.J. Smith, suggested earlier Monday that the Chargers were strongly considering hiring Tuner as their head coach.

Beyond Turner, the other known San Diego head coach candidates -- Gary Gibbs (New Orleans), Mike Zimmer (Atlanta), Mike Singletary (San Francisco), Ron Rivera (Chicago) and Rex Ryan (Baltimore) -- are all coaches whose expertise is on the defensive side. All but Singletary are current coordinators.

Landing Cottrell for the defensive post, and adding Turner as head coach, could provide the Chargers the best of all worlds.

Cottrell has interviewed in the past for head coach positions, and came very close to landing the top job in San Francisco four years ago.

San Diego officials prefer to retain a 3-4 defense, the scheme for which the personnel is best suited, and hiring Cottrell would permit that. Cottrell was actually recommended to Schottenheimer by Smith when then-Chargers defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as their new head coach.

Schottenheimer instead leaned toward hiring his younger brother, Kurt Schottenheimer, as the replacement for Phillips. In addition to Marty Schottenheimer, the Chargers, who posted an NFL-best 14-2 record in 2006 but were ousted in the divisional round of the playoffs, have lost five assistant coaches since the end of the season. That includes both coordinators.

Cottrell, 59, possesses 22 seasons of NFL experience as an assistant coach, including three stints as a defensive coordinator. He most recently worked as coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings (2004-2005). Cottrell lost his job when the Vikings fired coach Mike Tice after the 2005 season, and he worked in the NFL office in 2006.

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Re: Chargers hire Turner as new head coach

Why do they keep hiring these retreads  ???

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