Chargers Hire Anthony Lynn As New Coach
The day after they announced they would move from San Diego to Los Angeles, the Chargers hired Buffalo Bills interim head coach Anthony Lynn Friday as their new head coach.
The fallout from owner Dean Spanos' decision to uproot after 56 seasons in San Diego continued when longtime sports reporter Jim Gray said on Fox Sports that San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer should be shot for letting the team leave, and the team slightly revamped its highly criticized logo.
Regarding Lynn, the Chargers haven't officially announced his hiring, but multiple reports said the two sides had agreed on a four-year contract.
Lynn replaces Mike McCoy, who was fired Jan. 1 less than two hours after the Chargers concluded a 5-11 season with a 37-27 loss to Kansas City. Lynn began the 2016 season as the Buffalo Bills assistant head coach- running backs coach, was promoted to offensive coordinator Sept. 16, one day after the team got off to a 0-2 start, and became the interim coach on Dec. 27 when Rex Ryan was fired with one game remaining in the season.
The Bills went 7-9, but led the NFL in rushing with 2,630 yards and yards per carry at 5.3. Lynn, 48, has been in the league for 17 years, beginning as an offensive assistant with the Denver Broncos. He was a running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets.
Gray made his remarks during an in-studio interview in which he said Spanos had no choice because the stadium is a "disaster."
"This mayor in San Diego, he really should be shot," Gray said. "He did a terrible job, in terms of football fans, yes."
He criticized Faulconer for failing to support Measure C until the last three weeks. The measure, which would have raised hotel room taxes to partially fund construction of a downtown stadium, failed to gain the necessary two- thirds of the vote in the November general election.
About one minute later, he took it back.
"Saying somebody should be shot is wrong," Gray said. "That's a bad phrase to use for that mayor. I meant that he should take the blame."
The mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Chargers kept the italicized LA print that was widely mocked on Twitter Thursday, but made the letters yellow set against a sky blue background. The resemblance to UCLA's colors were quickly noted on social media.
At a news conference ahead of Saturday's contest against Utah State, San Diego State basketball coach Steve Fisher said he was disappointed by the news of the Chargers leaving, saying the professional football franchise brought excitement to the city. He added that San Diego's strengths will limit any detrimental impact.
"People save and save and save to vacation here, and that will not change," Fisher said.
"Having a pro football franchise, I think it brings a little prestige to a community, but we're atypical of a normal community," Fisher said. "This area is what you say `if only I could live there.' "
San Diego is one of the few cities in the U.S. with such distinction, he said. Not having the Chargers in town will mean that more focus will be placed on San Diego State athletics, especially the football team, according to Fisher.
Meanwhile, fans gathered Friday afternoon at a rally hosted by The Mighty 1090 at the Valley View Casino Center. Fans were encouraged to donate Chargers jerseys they no longer wanted to the Alpha Project to help San Diego's homeless in exchange for various prizes.
"I mean, it was expected, but now that it hit, it's just like, you know, I'm just, I'm just done with it now. It's, you know, it's over," said Jaime Bermudez, a Chargers fan at the rally. "I hope they lose. I hope they have an even crappier year next year than they had this year."