Chargers fire head coach Norv Turner, general manager A.J. Smith

Turner finishes 59-43 in 6 seasons with Bolts

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos announced Monday that General Manager A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner will not return in 2013.

"I thank A.J. and Norv for the determination and integrity they brought to the Chargers each and every day," said Spanos. "Both Norv and A.J. are consummate NFL professionals, and they understand that in this league, the bottom-line is winning. 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. I am committed to our great fans, and we will do whatever we possibly can to achieve that goal."

Smith joined the Chargers as assistant general manager in 2001 before becoming general manager in 2003 following the passing of John Butler. During his 10 seasons, the team won five AFC West Division titles (2004, ‘06-09).

Only five teams won more games than the Chargers during the past 10 seasons.

The Chargers’ 98 wins during Smith’s tenure (playoffs included) are the most by the team during any general manager’s tenure in San Diego. Prior to the 2012 season, Smith had acquired 15 players who went on to earn Pro Bowl recognition, the most in the NFL during his tenure.

Turner produced an overall record of 59-43 (.578 percent) with the Chargers, including 56-40 (.583 percent) during the regular season. His overall record with the Chargers against the AFC West was 25-11, including 9-3 versus Oakland and Kansas City, and a 7-5 record against Denver.

The Chargers won three division titles and had three second place finishes in the AFC West under Turner (2007-12). That includes an appearance in the 2007 AFC Championship Game.

Turner is tied with Don Coryell and Bobby Ross for the most playoff wins in team history (three).

Turner’s regular-season record in San Diego after October 31 was 36-17, including 24-5 in December and January.

Spanos said, "I knew at the beginning of the season that if we didn't get into the playoffs and win some games that I'd have to make this decision."

Turner told the press, "This team hadn't won a playoff game since 1994, when I got here, and we won three playoff games. I'm proud of that."

"It's not a good thing when you don't see fans in the stands," said Spanos. "If you don't win, fans aren't going to come. This is part of our business. Our goal is to put a winning product on the field."

"The next coach will be impressed by the work ethic of these guys. When he looks at the tape he'll see they're extremely well coached," Turner said. "For the first three years I was here we were the most talented team in the division, the last three years I don't think that was true."

Turner also said, "What I would hope for the next coach: someone wrote this team isn't that far away from being a playoff team. I would disagree."

On bringing back Norv and AJ in 2012, Spanos said, "If you want to blame anyone, blame me. I thought it was the right decision."


Other news around the league:

The Associated Press reported that the Arizona Cardinals fired coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves.

The Cleveland Browns fired head coach Pat Shurmur, and general manager Tom Heckert.

The Philadelphia Eagles fired coach Andy Reid after 14 seasons and Romeo Crennel was let go as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chan Gailey was fired as coach of the Buffalo Bills and Lovie Smith is out as coach of the Chicago Bears.

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