Chargers Fire Marty Schottenheimer
Despite NFL-Best 14-2 Record, San Diego Chargers Fire Coach Marty Schottenheimer
By BERNIE WILSON
The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO - Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer was fired Monday night in a shocking move by team president Dean Spanos, who cited a "dysfunctional situation" between the coach and general manager A.J. Smith.
Less than a month after San Diego's NFL-best 14-2 season was wrecked in a playoff loss to New England, Spanos cited the exodus of both coordinators and other assistants in firing Schottenheimer, who had a year left on his contact.
"The process of dealing with these coaching changes convinced me that we simply could not move forward with such dysfunction between our head coach and general manager," Spanos said in a statement. "In short, this entire process over the last month convinced me beyond any doubt that I had to act to change this untenable situation."
The firing was first reported by ESPN.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was hired as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, following offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and two other assistants out of town for better jobs.
Although Schottenheimer said last week that change was inevitable, Smith sounded concerned, saying, "Both in the same year Wow."
Tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski became Cleveland's offensive coordinator, and linebackers coach Greg Manusky was hired as San Francisco's defensive coordinator.
Running backs coach Clarence Shelmon, who's never been a coordinator, was promoted to replace Cameron. Shelmon accepted only a one-year contract due to Schottenheimer's lame-duck status. Schottenheimer declined the team's offer of a $4.5 million, one-year extension through 2008, which came with a club-option $1 million buyout.
Schottenheimer has been at odds with Smith since the 2005 season, apparently over personnel decisions by the GM.