This morning, we sat down with President Dean Spanos to discuss his decision to dismiss General Manager A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner.
Question: What were the certain key factors that went into your decision today?
Spanos: Obviously, it’s a difficult day today. But we’re three years now out of the playoffs. Our goal has always been to win a world championship, and I think at this particular time we need to go in a different direction.
Question: At what point did it become apparent that this was a decision you had to make?
Spanos: I think at the beginning of the season it was apparent that if we didn’t get to the playoffs and didn’t win some games into the playoffs, that we probably were going to make a change.
Question: What will the hiring process be for both positions moving forward?
Spanos: Right now we’re putting together a list obviously of candidates for the general manager position as well as the coaching position. A lot of these candidates right now are with teams that are in the playoffs, so we have to submit consent forms and receive permission from those teams for interviews. So until we receive permission to interview some of these candidates, we’re not going to know exactly what the procedure will be going forward. Hopefully that will all play out in the next two or three days and we will know what direction we are going to take.
Question: What are the qualities you are looking for in both a general manager and head coach?
Spanos: Good leadership qualities, obviously. Experience. And I think that’s going to play itself out obviously because you can hire an experienced coach or you can hire a young coach that’s coming up that’s maybe a coordinator right now. So until we get into the process and start looking at each individual coach, it’s difficult to say. So obviously you want someone who is going to win and get you into the Super Bowl.
Question: This is a big day for the Chargers organization. Is there anything you would like to say to the fans?
Spanos: Obviously it’s been a disappointing three seasons. But I’m looking forward to a new general manager and a new head coach here. I’m optimistic and we will get this right.