Chargers fire Norv Turner, A.J. Smith

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SAN DIEGO – The Chargers began to clean house Monday with announcing the firing of Coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith, according to the team officials.


Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner, General Manager AJ Smith

The announcement was made by team president Dean Spanos in a statement issued on the Chargers’ official website and Twitter.

“I thank A.J. and Norv for the determination and integrity they brought to the Chargers each and every day,” Spanos said. “Both Norv and A.J. are consummate NFL professionals, and they understand that in this league, the bottom-line is winning.”

The team ended their 2012 season Sunday with a 7-9 record, missing the playoffs for the third season in a row.

“My only goal is the Super Bowl, and that is why I have decided to move in a new direction with both our head coach and general manager positions,” Spanos said. “I am committed to our great fans, and we will do whatever we possibly can to achieve that goal.”

The Chargers announced the team has retained former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf as a consultant and would begin a hunt for successors for Turner and Smith immediately. The Chargers plan to ask teams that made the playoffs for permission to speak with their employees.

The names of several NFL and college coaches have been bandied about over the past few weeks as possibly coming to San Diego. A statement by the team said no comments will be made on potential candidates.

Spanos, Wolf, longtime Chargers executive Ed McGuire and Spanos’ son John Spanos will make up a search committee that will have a goal of hiring a new general manager first — though they said they intend to remain flexible on that point, according to the team.

After six years, Turner leaves the Chargers with the highest winning percentage in the team history.  During his reign has the head coach, the team won three AFC West titles and two second place finishes.

According to the team’s website, Turner tied former head coaches Don Coryell and Bobby Ross for the most playoff wins in team history with three.  He was USA Today’s NFL Coach of the Year in 2009.

Smith was named the general manager of the Chargers in April 2003 and took the team to five AFC West championships. Before he took over as GM, the team did not have a winning record for seven consecutive seasons.

The team will owe Smith $4 million for the remaining two years of his deal and Turner $3 million for his one remaining season.


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