SAN DIEGO -- Despite a disappointing 2015 campaign in perhaps their final season in San Diego, the Chargers announced Monday that they will bring back head coach Mike McCoy.
McCoy said in a news conference that changes will be made to the coaching staff, but he does not have a timeline as to when those changes will happen. However, the Chargers parted ways with offensive coordinator Frank Reich on Monday, and four other offensive assistants are headed out the door.
San Diego officially dismissed offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris, wide receivers coach Fred Graves, tight ends coach Peter Metzelaars and assistant offensive line coach Andrew Dees. San Diego also announced that defensive line coach Don Johnson will not return to the team's defensive staff for the 2016 season.
San Diego finished No. 9 in total offense in 2015 and averaged 372 yards a contest. The Chargers finished 26th in points scored and second-worst in the NFL in rushing offense. First-round selection Melvin Gordon struggled in his rookie season and failed to score a touchdown.
The quarterbacks coach for the Chargers in 2013, Reich ascended to the offensive coordinator position in 2014, when Ken Whisenhunt left to become head coach job of the Tennessee Titans. Reich, 54, interviewed for the then-vacant Maryland head-coaching position earlier this season. He also was a candidate for head-coaching jobs with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets at the end of the 2014 season.
Fired as head coach of the Titans midway through the 2015 season, Whisenhunt could be in the running for his old job with Reich gone. Whisenhunt has a good rapport with quarterback Philip Rivers, and in 2013, the Chargers averaged 122.8 rushing yards per game, 13th in the NFL, with Whisenhunt as the offensive coordinator. However, the Chargers regressed in 2015 and finished 4-12. Specifically, San Diego struggled in its division and finished without a win in the AFC West for the first time since 1984.
In three seasons with San Diego, McCoy has compiled a 22-26 record, including back-to-back 9-7 seasons in his first two years with the Chargers.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to be back this year," McCoy said. "I'm really excited with who's here, and the players we have moving forward. I think everybody understands from throughout the year what we need to improve. So I'm energized, excited and ready to go, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be back."
McCoy expects a quick turnaround in 2016 because the Chargers were competitive in most games; this season, they lost nine games by eight or fewer points. However, the Chargers finished the year by losing 10 of their last 13 games.
McCoy has one year left on his contract and would not confirm whether he received a contract extension or will work out the remainder of his contract. However, McCoy did say the Spanos family has told him all year that they remain committed to him. McCoy said he was in constant contact with them every week of the regular season.
"They've been behind me 100 percent," McCoy said. "And with all the speculation and everything, we met this morning and they said, 'You're coming back.'"
Players such as Rivers voiced their support for keeping McCoy during locker room cleanout at Chargers Park.
"Mike really did a heck of a job under the circumstances," Rivers said. "And I know it's about winning and losing, so you say 'Well, he didn't because we only won four games.' But all he dealt with, his steadiness and his continued belief in the approach and tweaking things the best he could to try and give us a chance on Sunday."