SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers Tuesday hired Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy as head coach, replacing the fired Norv Turner.
Turner was let go along with general manager A.J. Smith one day after the team completed its third consecutive non-playoff season. McCoy, 40, will be the 15th head coach in Chargers history.
McCoy interviewed for the job Monday, just two days after the Broncos were eliminated from the NFL playoffs by the Baltimore Ravens, according to Chargers officials.
Chargers President Dean Spanos said at a news conference that it became clear during the interview that McCoy was the best choice among five candidates being considered by the team.
“It was very clear to us that Mike had all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach,” Spanos said. “He has a very structured vision about how to build and coach a team.”
He said the new coach has an innovative mind for offense and maximizing the talents of his players.
McCoy oversaw the Broncos offense for four seasons, adapting an option- oriented attack in 2011 for quarterback Tim Tebow and a passing game this year for veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. He held a variety of assistant coaching jobs for the Carolina Panthers before his stint in Denver.
He called the Chargers job an “opportunity of a lifetime.”
“We’ve got one goal in mind every year, and that’s to win it and be the last team standing up on the podium with a trophy,” McCoy said.
He said tough decisions about the team will have to be made, and that it will take some time.
Considering his background, McCoy said he would hire an offensive coordinator to work under him. He was non-committal about whether defensive coordinator John Pagano would be retained.
He promised to bring changes to team routines like practice and travel schedules, and even the food players eat.
McCoy, who grew up in Novato, in Marin County, was a standout quarterback at the University of Utah.
The Chargers last week hired Tom Telesco, also 40, away from the Indianapolis Colts to replace Smith as general manager.