Chargers fire head coach Mike McCoy

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Mike McCoy

SAN DIEGO – The Chargers fired head coach Mike McCoy Sunday less than two hours after the team finished its National Football League season with a 37-27 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

McCoy finished 28-38 in four seasons as San Diego’s head coach. The Chargers finished 5-11 this season, following a 4-12 mark last year. Their only playoff appearance under McCoy’s leadership came his first season, when the team went 1-1 in the postseason.

“Mike McCoy is a man of high character, and we thank him for his dedication to the Chargers,” the team’s president of football operations, John Spanos, said in a statement released at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. “The decision to dismiss Mike was made in the best interests of our franchise. Our team’s disappointing performance has not matched this team’s potential and has fallen short of the demanding standards that we seek to impose throughout our organization. Our comprehensive search for a new head coach begins immediately.”

This is the second consecutive year in which the Chargers will enter the offseason uncertain about their future. At this point last season, team officials were considering a move to Los Angeles, where they would have built a stadium in suburban Carson in conjunction with the Oakland Raiders. That plan was ultimately shot down by other NFL owners. The 2015 home finale was something of a love fest, with emotional players and fans mingling along the sideline after the game.

A different feeling was in the air this year, with an estimated 54,000 fans watching the Chargers close out another fruitless campaign and recent news on the stadium front resulting in yet more mixed signals.

After voters in November rejected Measure C, the Chargers’ plan for a hotel room tax hike to partially fund a downtown stadium project, team chairman Dean Spanos told fans he would wait until after the end of the season to make decisions on his franchise’s future.

On the one hand, the Chargers have agreed to lease office space and an open field in Orange County to use as a headquarters and practice facility should the team move.

On the other, a recent meeting that included Spanos, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, county Supervisor Ron Roberts and San Diego State University President Elliot Hirshman was described as being productive. SDSU was involved in the meeting because it has long eyed the Qualcomm site for expansion.

When his fellow owners killed off the Carson plan, they gave Spanos a one-year option to become the second team in Los Angeles along with the Rams. That window closes Jan. 15