The Chargers plan to fire head coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith at the end of the season, according to sources in a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Sources said this week that Chargers President Dean Spanos essentially decided at least a month ago that Turner’s time was drawing to a rapid close. Spanos, sources said, has more recently resigned himself to the fact that Smith can’t be kept in the current environment of plummeting performance and fan unrest.
Spanos is waiting until after the season, more because that is his preferred time to make such moves than due to any faith in the Chargers’ microscopic playoff chances.
The firing of Turner and Smith are not surprising.
Jon Gruden, Chip Kelly, Mike Holmgren, Andy Reid and David Shaw are expected to be considered to coach the Chargers.
The report taps Director of Player Personnel Jimmy Raye as Smith’s replacement. Raye, a 17-year employee of the Chargers, will add the owner’s son, John Spanos, as his right-hand man.
The younger Spanos, currently the team’s Director of College Scouting, has long been in line to take over the Chargers’ football operations, but the plan was for that to not happen until the expiration of Smith’s contract after the 2014 season.
The Chargers’ failure to make the playoff for the third consecutive season, and lack of success in the postseason — they made it to the AFC Championship just once, in 2007 — are behind the owner’s moves.