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Chronology 1980-1989

1959-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-Today


Jan. 14 John Sanders, general manager of the Chargers, is named NFL executive of the year in balloting of other NFL executives by The Sporting News.
Jan. 27 Head coach Don Coryell and his staff and players Russ Washington, Dan Fouts, Gary Johnson, Fred Dean, John Jefferson, Charlie Joiner and Ed White represent the Chargers on AFC team in Pro Bowl at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium.
July 11 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Sept. 14 Dan Fouts' 24-yard touchdown pass to John Jefferson gives the Chargers a 30-24 victory over Oakland in overtime before 51,943 persons in San Diego Stadium.
Sept. 28 The Chargers win their fourth game in a row against AFC West competition, defeating Kansas City 24-7 in Arrowhead Stadium. The 4-0 record is the Chargers' best at the beginning of the season since 1966.
Oct. 19 Dan Fouts sets a club record with 444 yards passing and Chargers 44-7 victory over the N.Y. Giants is most one-sided by a San Diego team since 1969.
Nov. 30 Running back Keith Lincoln and Barron Hilton are inducted into the Chargers' Hall of Fame at halftime of the Philadelphia game.
Dec. 22 Kellen Winslow catches 10 passes for 171 yards and Chargers clinch second straight AFC West title by defeating Pittsburgh 26-17 before 51,785 persons in San Diego Stadium and a national Monday night television audience. San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson announces that the stadium will be renamed San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium in honor of Jack Murphy, late sports editor of The San Diego Union.


Feb. 1 Eight Chargers are on the AFC Pro Bowl squad and, for the first time in Pro Bowl history, three defensive linemen from the same team, Gary Johnson, Louie Kelcher and Fred Dean, are in the starting lineup.
July 17 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Sept. 7 Dan Fouts passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns, Chuck Muncie rushes for 161 yards, and Charlie Joiner catches six passes for 191 yards as the Chargers rout Cleveland 44-14 before 78,904 fans in Cleveland in the season opener on Monday Night Football.
Oct. 25 John Roveto's 26-yard field goal after 9:30 of overtime gives Chicago a 20-17 victory over the Chargers in Soldier Field.
Nov. 22 Dan Fouts passes for six touchdowns, including four to Kellen Winslow, who also catches a fifth from Chuck Muncie, in 55-21 win at Oakland.
Nov. 29 Ernie Ladd and Walt Sweeney, stars of the sixties, are inducted into the Chargers' Hall of Fame at halftime of the Denver game.
Dec. 21 The Chargers clinch their third straight AFC West championship on the final Monday night of the season, defeating Oakland 23-10.


Jan. 2 Rolf Benirschke's 27-yard field goal after 13:52 of overtime gives the Chargers a dramatic, 41-38 victory over Miami in the Orange Bowl in one of the epic games in NFL history.
Jan. 10 After playing in perhaps the greatest game, the Chargers lose the AFC Championship on the coldest; the temperature is nine degrees below zero and wind-chill factor is 59 below as Cincinnati beats the Chargers 27-7 in Cincinnati.
July 24 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Sept. 12 Rolf Benirschke kicks three field goals and the Chargers' defense didn't allow a touchdown, first time since Dec. 9, 1979, as San Diego wins season opener, 23-3 in Denver.
Sept. 21 NFL Players Association walks out on strike.
Nov. 16 Management Council and NFL Players Association reach agreement after missing eight weeks of season.
Nov. 22 Raiders beat San Diego in Los Angeles, 28-24 on opening Monday night after strike; Chargers held 24-0 lead in second quarter.
Dec. 11 Dan Fouts ties club records with 444 yards passing and 33 completions and Chargers have three receivers with more than 100 yards receiving as San Diego beats Super Bowl XVI champion San Francisco, 41-37.
Dec. 20 The Chargers set four team records, including one for 661 total yards, while defeating defending AFC Conference champion Cincinnati, 50-34.


Jan. 9 Chuck Muncie runs for 126 yards on 25 carries, his third straight 100-yard performance, and Dan Fouts throws for 333 yards as Chargers win opening-round playoff game in Pittsburgh, 31-28.
Jan. 16 Miami picks off five Dan Fouts' passes and hold the visitors scoreless in the second half, defeating San Diego in second round, 34-13.
April 11 The Chargers sign 20-year lease with City of San Diego to play their games in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. Lease contains terms to expand stadium to 60,100 seats.
April 26 San Diego uses three number one draft choices to select Billy Ray Smith, Gary Anderson and Gill Byrd.
July 16 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Oct. 2 Dan Fouts injures throwing shoulder in Chargers 41-34 victory at New York Giants. Chargers improved record to 2-3 after worst start since 1978 and Fouts plays next two weeks before missing six games during year due to injury.
Oct. 10 Construction begins on San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium to expand seating capacity to 60,100.
Nov. 27 Quarterback John Hadl was inducted into Chargers' Hall of Fame at halftime of Denver game.
Dec. 11 Kellen Winslow catches 14 passes versus Kansas City to set club record.


Jan. 16 Rolf Benirschke is named NFL/Miller Man of the Year.
May 1 Construction concludes expansion of San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium to seating capacity of 60,100.
May 24 NFL announces San Diego will host Super Bowl XXII, Jan. 31, 1988.
June 5 The Chargers draft DE Lee Williams in first round of supplemental draft of non-NFL professionals.
July 14 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Aug. 1 Alex G. Spanos purchases majority interest in Chargers from Eugene V. Klein. Spanos, of Stockton, Calif., is one of America's leading apartment complex builders.
Aug. 28 Spanos is officially approved as majority owner of Chargers by vote of NFL owners. "I'm on cloud nine," said Spanos. "This is the culmination of a dream, a lifelong dream. I'm a very happy man today."
Oct. 7 Kellen Winslow catches 15 passes at Green Bay to set club record.
Oct. 29 Linebacker Chuck Allen is inducted into Chargers' Hall of Fame at halftime of Seattle game.
Nov. 25 Wide receiver Charlie Joiner sets NFL record with his 650th pass reception in fourth quarter of game at Pittsburgh.
Dec. 11 Charlie Joiner Day in San Diego is declared by Mayor Roger Hedgecock.


May 10 The Chargers have 107 players at Mini Camp, a club record.
July 20 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Nov. 3 Wide receiver Gary Garrison and head coach Sid Gillman are inducted into the Chargers' Hall of Fame at halftime of game with Denver Broncos.
Nov. 10 Lionel James gains 345 all-purpose yards in 40-34 overtime victory versus Los Angeles Raiders, second in NFL history behind 373 yards by Houston's Billy Cannon Dec. 10, 1961, at New York. James caught 11 passes and scored winning touchdown with 17-yard run.
Nov. 17 Gary Anderson returns opening kickoff at Denver 98 yards for touchdown, the second kickoff return for touchdown in club history. Keith Lincoln went 103 yards Sept. 16, 1962, versus the New York Titans.
Dec. 22 Guard Ed White sets NFL record by playing in 241 NFL games, most all-time among offensive linemen. Mark Herrmann also sets club records with 37 completions and 58 attempts at Kansas City while starting for injured Dan Fouts.
Dec. 23 Head coach Don Coryell has his contract extended and receivers coach Al Saunders is promoted to assistant head coach.


July 19 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Sept. 7 San Diego opens season with 500 yards total offense, 224 rushing and 276 passing, and a 50-28 victory over Miami.
Oct. 26 Chargers lose seventh straight game, 23-7, at Philadelphia in Week 8.
Oct. 29 Assistant head coach Al Saunders is named the seventh head coach in Chargers history following the resignation of Don Coryell. At age 39, Saunders is the youngest head coach in the NFL.
Nov. 9 The 1-8 Chargers defeat the 8-1 Denver Broncos in Denver, 9-3, for Saunders' first win as an NFL head coach.


Jan. 6 Head coach Al Saunders signs a five-year contract.
Jan. 12 Wide receiver Charlie Joiner retires with 750 receptions, most in NFL history, to become receivers coach of the Chargers.
Jan. 27 Steve Ortmayer is named Director of Football Operations.
July 25 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Sept. 22 NFL Players Association begins strike which lasts 24 days, causing cancellation of Week 3 games before replacement teams are fielded.
Oct. 15 NFLPA strike ends.
Oct. 18 "Re-Chargers" finish as one of NFL's two undefeated (3-0) strike teams, winning all games in fourth quarter, culminating with 23-17 win over Raiders in Los Angeles, Chargers first win over Raiders in Coliseum.
Nov. 15 San Diego's 16-14 win over Raiders on national television gives Chargers eighth straight win and best record in NFL (8-1) and first sweep of Raiders since 1981.
Dec. 27 Chargers finish with 8-7 record, first winning record since 1982, despite winding up with six straight losses and 24-0 loss in Denver blizzard.


Jan. 31 San Diego hosts Super Bowl XXII in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium as Washington defeated Denver, 42-10.
March 24 Quarterback Dan Fouts retires after 15-year career in which he set seven NFL records, 42 club records, and became the NFL's second most-prolific passer of all time with 43,040 yards.
July 13 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Sept. 18 Chargers end eight-game regular season losing streak with 17-6 win over Seattle, their first win against Seahawks since 1983.
Nov. 27 Dan Fouts' jersey number 14 is retired at halftime of "Dan Fouts Day" game in San Diego; Chargers lost to 49ers, 48-10.
Dec. 18 Gary Anderson set club records with 34 rushing attempts and 217 yards in 24-13 win versus Kansas City.
Dec. 19 Head coach Al Saunders is released.


Feb. 9 Forty-six-year-old Dan Henning, the former Chargers quarterback, Redskins assistant, and Falcons head coach, is named the eighth head coach in Chargers history.
July 22 The Chargers open training camp at UCSD.
Dec. 17 Marion Butts sets a club record with 39 carries and a team rookie record with 176 yards in Chargers' 20-13 win in Kansas City.
Dec. 18 Director of Football Operations Steve Ortmayer is released.
Dec. 24 The Chargers end the season with a 19-16 win over the eventual AFC Champion Denver Broncos marking 14th game in a row opponents were held to 20 points or less and the 13th of 1989 decided by seven points or less.