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Dean Spanos: He's the right guy
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President Dean Spanos
“Thank you for coming today. I really appreciate it. During this last week, we interviewed five extremely well-qualified individuals for our head coaching position. Mike (McCoy) was our last interview yesterday. We spent all day with Mike and in the end, we knew right then and there that he was the right man to be the next head coach of the San Diego Chargers. It was very clear to us that Mike had all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach. He has a very structured vision about how to build and coach a team. There is no doubt that he has one of the most innovative minds in football for building offenses and maximizing the abilities of all his players. Mike is energetic, he’s enthusiastic, forward-thinking and a team-builder. And most importantly, he is a devout family man and clearly understands the value of building and maintaining a family environment here. Bottom line, he’s a true leader. With Tom Telesco leading our player personnel department as our new general manager and with our new head coach Mike McCoy, there’s no doubt that we’re going to get back to where we want to be. So without further ado, I would like to introduce the new head coach of the San Diego Chargers, Mike McCoy.”
What would have happened if the Denver Broncos would have won?
“That’s an interesting question. We were talking about that this morning. We wouldn’t have had an opportunity to interview Mike until after they were eliminated or after the Super Bowl.”
You have a 40-year-old head coach and a 40-year-old general manager. It seems as if the Chargers are going younger.
“I’m feeling a lot older, that’s for sure. I think that it’s great. We have a head coach and a general manager that are 40-years-old and my son, who’s 34 and up-and-coming, so it’s definitely a young organization and has a lot of good years ahead of it.”
Does it bring something to the organization with all of them being so young?
“I really believe it does. It’s a new vision, it’s going to be a new culture around here. You heard coach (McCoy) talking about family values and that family atmosphere around here and that really struck me yesterday when we were interviewing him. It was one of the more important things that he had to say. He’s a firm believer in that and that’s the kind of atmosphere that we want to try create around here.”
After doing five interviews, what made you act so quickly with Mike McCoy?
“Let me just say that all five were great interviews and all five would be good head coaches in the National Football League. Several of them already have been. But he was the last one, so that was kind of fortunate for us because we got to meet the other four first. But it was just his personality and the dynamic of his personality that just captivated the moment. The things that he said, he was very structured and very organized and he knows exactly what he wants to do.”
Why did he get the private plane?
“Time. We had to get him down here. There were other teams that were interested and we wanted to get this process moving as fast as possible.”
It sounds like you knew he was your guy.
“I wouldn’t say that necessarily. Reading up on him and everything, watching him on TV and everything, that was great, but I hadn’t met him personally, none of us had. But there were a lot of teams out there trying to get him to go back to their city.”
Do you see his intimate knowledge as a division rival an advantage?
“I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know. I can’t really answer that question, you would have to ask him.”
How did Ron Wolf play out in his advisory role?
“He was great, I mean he was just great. He did exactly what I was hoping he would do. He didn’t ask a whole lot of questions, but the questions that he asked were very important and it told a lot.”
When Mike McCoy walked in and you talked to him a little bit, did you know that he was the guy you wanted?
“I would say that it was a good start, do you know what I’m saying? And it was just uphill from there. But it was great.”
Philip Rivers said that he was kind of rooting for this selection. Did he give any input?
“He didn’t. I saw him yesterday or the day before yesterday and he just said, ‘Whatever you do is fine with me. I’ll be there, don’t worry about me.’ So that’s Philip, that’s how great he is.”
What impressed you about Mike McCoy?
“In my mind it was a great hire. I kind of knew about halfway through the whole interview process that this was going to be our guy. He just has a certain dynamic about him that when you sit and talk to him for a while, you know he’s the right guy.”
It appears that you’ve put a pretty good front office team together.
“It’s a young team and they have a lot of good years ahead of them. But you know, I think that we’re off to a good start. We still have to go out and win, that’s the bottom line in all of this, but I think that we have the right parts in place to do it.”
What did you think of Mike McCoy’s presentation in terms of the way he’s going to reconstruct the team with the players who are here already?
“I think that it was more of his vision in terms of how to go about it. He hasn’t really sat down and looked at the roster and studied everything with his coaches and with Tom (Telesco), our new general manager. It’s like he said, we have a good core group here and we’ll figure out what we need to do to add around that to get it back to where we want to go. But it’s still a little bit early. I’ve got to give him a chance.”
When Mike McCoy mentioned family values, how important is that to you?
“It means a lot to me. It’s been very important in my life. But the family values within the organization, we want to create a family feeling around here and maybe that’s been gone the last few years. So you lose it every once in a while and you forget what it was all about and it’s sort of refreshing to think that we’re going to get back to that. That’s important to me.” Read