Chargers hire Rams defensive coordinator as coach

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FILE – In this Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley watches his players before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens, Fla. On Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, the Los Angeles Chargers hired Staley to become the team’s head coach. (AP Photo/Doug Murray, File)

COSTA MESA, Calif. (CNS) – The Los Angeles Chargers have hired Brandon Staley as their coach, hoping he can replicate his success as the Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator with SoFi Stadium’s other NFL tenant.

The Rams’ defense ranked first in total defense, passing defense and scoring defense in Staley’s lone season as defensive coordinator. It was the first time the Rams had led the league in total defense since 1978.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve known Brandon for five minutes or five years, what quickly becomes apparent is the amount of energy and passion he approaches each and every moment with,” Chargers President of Football Operations John Spanos said.

“The consistency of that enthusiasm is unique and, most importantly, it drives his ability to connect with people. His coaching journey to this particular moment is inspiring. If not for the sheer perseverance and determination of it all, then certainly for the dramatic results it has produced for the teams and players he has coached.

“I know it’s a cliche, but I know Brandon quite literally cannot wait to get to work. I also know we cannot be more excited to have him as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.”

Staley replaces Anthony Lynn, who was fired Jan. 4, one day after the Chargers completed a 7-9 season, missing the playoffs for the third time in his four seasons as coach. The Chargers have qualified for the playoffs once since 2014.

“It’s not just that Brandon possesses a tremendous football mind that makes him the ideal head coach to lead our team forward,” said general manager Tom Telesco. “It’s that he excels in the ability to effectively tailor, apply and communicate his concepts to players.

“It’s clear that Brandon will not be out-worked, he’s the football equivalent of a gym rat, and that has earned him the universal respect of the players he has coached throughout his journey.”

Before joining the Rams, Staley was the outside linebackers coach for the Denver Broncos in 2019 and Chicago Bears from 2017-18.

“It’s hard to put into words just how excited I am for the opportunity to be the Los Angeles Chargers’ head coach,” the 38-year-old Staley said. “While this is certainly a dream come true, it’s also a dream that’s just beginning.

“There’s a reason this was probably the most sought-after job out there — from ownership, to the fans, to the city, to the men in that locker room — it’s the total package. I can’t thank the Spanos family and Tom Telesco enough for placing their faith in us, and by the time everyone is reading this quote in a press release, we’ll already be hard at work developing a program Chargers fans everywhere can be proud of.”

Staley was the University of Dayton’s starting quarterback from 2003- 04, helping lead the Flyers to a 16-5 record. He completed his playing career at Division II Mercyhurst College in 2005, playing with his twin brother, Jason.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Northern Illinois from 2006-08 before coaching the defensive line and special teams in 2009 at Division III University of St. Thomas.

Staley was associate head coach/defensive coordinator at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College from 2010-11, coaching future NFL draftees Cordarrelle Patterson, Markus Golden and De’Vondre Campbell.

He was a graduate assistant in 2012 at Tennessee, defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Division III John Carroll University in 2013 and 2015-16 and defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at James Madison University in 2014.

Staley was selected as National Coordinator of the Year honors for Division III as John Carroll was third in the nation in total defense (allowing 218 yards per game) and fourth in scoring defense (allowing 12.6 points per game).

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