COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to terms with Brandon Staley to become their next head coach, the team announced Sunday night.
He will be formally introduced at a news conference on Thursday.
Staley served the past season as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator, developing the top-ranked defense in the NFL behind star defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Staley’s unit propelled the Rams to a 10-6 season and a wild-card playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks before the team exited the postseason with a loss to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. In his first year as an NFL coordinator, Staley’s defense ranked No. 1 in efficiency, yards allowed per game and points allowed per game.
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With the Chargers, Staley replaces coach Anthony Lynn, who was fired after four seasons and a 33-31 record.
The Chargers are coming off a 7-9 season that resulted in a third-place finish in the AFC West.
However, Staley inherits a roster that includes several cornerstone players, including rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to throw 30 touchdown passes in single season. Staley also takes over a defensive unit that includes Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa and All Pro safety Derwin James.
“It’s hard to put into words just how excited I am for the opportunity to be the Los Angeles Chargers’ Head Coach,” Staley said in a statement. “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.”
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The 38-year-old Staley has quickly risen through the NFL ranks since he first was hired as a position coach in 2017 with the Chicago Bears. He spent two seasons in Chicago under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio before he followed Fangio to the Denver Broncos, where he spent one season as outside linebackers coach before joining the Rams’ staff.
Ramsey told ESPN that he has been in touch with James about Staley’s hiring and that James was very “excited” about his new coach. Ramsey has been a vocal advocate of Staley’s throughout the coach’s one season with the Rams.
“He would make a lot of organizations happy because he’s a great guy, he’s about ball but at the same time he’s a player’s coach and I love that about him and I hope he’s here for awhile,” Ramsey said last month. “But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this is a one-and-done thing, I would be happy for him.”
Prior to coaching in the NFL, Staley coached for three seasons at John Carroll University, a Division III college in University Heights, Ohio, and also spent a season as defensive coordinator at James Madison University.
“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,” said Chargers president of football operations John Spanos. “I know it’s cliché but I know Brandon quite literally cannot wait to get to work.”