The Los Angeles Chargers today announced the coaches who will join Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi, Defensive Coordinator Renaldo Hill and Special Teams Coordinator Derius Swinton II on Head Coach Brandon Staley's staff for the 2021 season.
Derrick Ansley comes to the Bolts to coach the secondary from the University of Tennessee, where he was the defensive coordinator and the defensive backs coach for the past two seasons. In his first season coordinating the Volunteers defense, the unit allowed its fewest yards per game in a decade (334.5) and improved by more than 30 passing yards allowed per game. He got his first NFL coaching experience in 2018, serving as the defensive backs coach for the Oakland Raiders. He held the same title at Alabama for two years (2016-17), helping The Crimson Tide rank No. 1 in the nation in total defense and scoring defense both seasons. Ansley tutored future NFL star Minkah Fitzpatrick to win the Jim Thorpe Award in 2017, which recognizes college football's best defensive back, en route to the team winning the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Chris Beatty will direct the wide receivers group for the Chargers after 15 seasons of leading offensive skill positions at the collegiate level. He directly instructed five eventual NFL draft selections, including first-round wide receivers D.J. Moore (2018) and Tavon Austin (2013). Having spent the last two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, Beatty's coaching history includes tenures as an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, while routinely providing significant contributions to recruiting efforts. Following his playing career in the CFL, Beatty entered the coaching profession at the high school level, posting a 78-18 record over nine total seasons, including a Virginia Group AAA Division 6 State Championship in 2004, as his Virginia Beach Landstown High School team was led by an eventual first-round NFL draft pick, Percy Harvin.
One of the premier coaches in the college ranks over the last 20 years, Mayur Chaudhari joins the Bolts as assistant special teams coach after serving in the same role with the Atlanta Falcons for the last three seasons. Before Atlanta, he coordinated the special teams units at the University of Hawai'i from 2016-17. In his first season with the Rainbow Warriors, current Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez set the program record for punt average over a career, while also going a perfect 13-of-13 on field goal attempts in 2016. Chaudhari's coaching tenure began at his alma mater, UC Davis, in 1998, serving as an offensive assistant and as the team's video coordinator.
After two seasons as the quarterbacks coach in San Francisco, Shane Day will serve as the Chargers' passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. A 12-year NFL coaching veteran, Day's second tenure in the Bay Area featured Jimmy Garoppolo leading the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV and being named NFL Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News in 2019. Prior to San Francisco, he spent three seasons as the tight ends coach for Miami (2016-18) after two years as the assistant offensive line coach for Washington (2014-15).
Tom Donatell joins the Chargers staff as the assistant secondary coach after spending the last four seasons in a defensive quality control capacity with the Seattle Seahawks. In his last four years with Seattle, the unit has produced a total of 10 Pro Bowl selections. Bobby Wagner was named an AP first-team All-Pro in all four of Donatell's seasons in the Pacific Northwest. After his playing career at the University of Iowa (2008-12), Donatell spent two years at the University of South Florida (2013-14) as a defensive graduate assistant and then two seasons in a similar role at UCLA (2015-16). He is the son of Broncos Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell.
Derrick Foster will tutor the Chargers' running backs group, having spent the last three seasons at the University of Iowa (2018-20). Last season, under Foster's mentorship, Tyler Goodson was named first-team All-Big Ten by both the media and the conference's coaches. Prior to his three years in Iowa City, Foster served two seasons as the run game coordinator/running backs coach at Samford University (2016-17), following a three-year stretch at Northwestern State University (2013-15). After his playing career at Southwest Baptist University, Foster entered the coaching ranks in 2011 as an offensive assistant coach, primarily working with the wide receivers, at Valdosta State University, before helping to guide the running backs group at the University of Tennessee in 2012.
Following back-to-back NFC Championship appearances as an offensive quality control coach with Green Bay, Kevin Koger joins the Bolts as the tight ends coach. He focused on that position with the Packers, helping breakout tight end Robert Tonyan haul in 62 passes for 686 yards and 12 touchdowns. Koger came to the NFL after spending three seasons (2016-18) as the wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator at Eastern Kentucky, helping receivers Devin Borders and Ryan Markush each average over 13.5 yards per reception in 2016. Koger played tight end at the University of Michigan, totaling 59 catches for 756 yards (12.8 avg.) and nine touchdowns in his career.
A former recipient of the John Teerlinck Award, given annually to the NFL's top defensive line coach, Jay Rodgers brings 12 years of NFL coaching experience to the Chargers in the role of run game coordinator/outside linebackers coach. In his last six seasons as Chicago's defensive line coach, the Bears defensive front was instrumental in Chicago sporting the NFL's top-ranked defense in scoring and rushing, holding opponents 17.7 points per game. Under Rodgers' direction of Denver's defensive front, the 2012 Broncos led the NFL with 52 total sacks as a unit. A former quarterback at Indiana University and Missouri State University, Rodgers arrives in Los Angeles with over two decades of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional level.
Shaun Sarrett will serve as Los Angeles' assistant offensive line coach after spending the last nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After six years as an offensive assistant with the Steelers, he had a one-year appointment as the assistant offensive line coach in 2018 before being promoted to offensive line coach before the 2019 season. In each of Sarrett's three years in the offensive line room, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro earned Pro Bowl recognition, while Pouncey also earned AP second-team All-Pro honors in 2018.
Returning to the Chargers for a fifth season, Dan Shamash will hold the title of offensive assistant for the 2021 season. While he has held various titles with the Bolts, including assistant tight ends coach last year, Shamash has primarily worked with the tight end position. He was instrumental to the progression of Hunter Henry, who set single-season career highs in 2020 with 60 receptions for 613 yards (10.2 avg.) and added four touchdowns. He also tutored former XFL-star Donald Parham Jr., to haul in touchdowns on each of his first three career catches, becoming the first offensive player to do so since 2011. Shamash has served as an assistant coach with five NFL teams since 2008 after his four-year playing career at Carnegie Mellon University.
Isaac Shewmaker joins the Chargers' staff in a defensive quality control role. Last season, he served as a defensive graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee, working with then-Volunteers defensive coordinator, and newly-appointed Chargers secondary coach, Derrick Ansley. Prior to Tennessee, Shewmaker was a defensive analyst (2019) and defensive assistant (2016-18) at the University of Alabama, helping the Crimson Tide make their fifth-straight appearance in the College Football Playoff in 2018 and defeat No. 14 Michigan in the Citrus Bowl to culminate the 2019 season.
17-year coaching veteran Frank Smith joins the Bolts as run game coordinator/offensive line coach. Over the last three seasons as the tight ends coach for the Raiders, Smith helped develop Darren Waller into one of the league's top tight ends. Waller, a 2021 Pro Bowl selection, led all NFL tight ends with 107 receptions last season, as he recorded his second-consecutive 1,100-plus receiving-yard campaign. As an offensive assistant from 2012-14 with the New Orleans Saints, Smith worked primarily with the offensive line, tutoring three linemen earned Pro Bowl nods and helping Jahri Evans to a pair of All-Pro selections. Smith's experience in offensive line development can be traced back to his playing career, where he was a three-year starter along the offensive front at Miami (Ohio) University, protecting the eventual No. 11 selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, Ben Roethlisberger.
Entering his sixth season with Chargers in 2021, Giff Smith will continue to coach the Bolts defensive line. Over his last five seasons, Smith has been integral in the development and progression of three-time Pro Bowler Joey Bosa. He has coached Bosa to a pair of Sporting News All-Pro selections and, in 2016, Smith tutored the Ohio State product to NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Last season, Bosa was named an all-star for the second-straight season and improved his career sack total to 47.5, ranking fifth all-time in Chargers history. Smith has coached four players to a total of nine Pro Bowl selections in his career.
Former NFL linebacker John Timu will join the Bolts as the Alex G. Spanos Coaching Fellow. The former All-Pacific-12 selection from his playing career at the University of Washington returned to his alma mater in 2019, assisting the Huskies defensive staff as a graduate assistant. Following his playing career at Washington, Timu signed with the Chicago Bears, appearing in 29 games with nine starts over three seasons (2015-17). In his final season with the Bears, Timu was tutored by Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley, who was in his first NFL season as Chicago's outside linebackers coach. A native of Long Beach, Calif., Timu returns to Southern California, where he attended Jordan High.
Chandler Whitmer joins the Chargers' staff in an offensive quality control coach. As an offensive graduate assistant at Clemson University last season, one season removed from serving in the same capacity at Ohio State University (2019), Whitmer's contributions to the respective offensive coaching staffs involved direct involvement with the quarterback and wide receiver units and helped each program appear in the College Football Playoff. The former Connecticut quarterback made 24 career starts for the Huskies from 2012-14, finishing his career ranked fourth in program history with 5,082 career passing yards off of 403 completions, while ranking sixth all-time in school annals with 25 career passing touchdowns.
Michael Wilhoite comes to Los Angeles to coach the linebackers after coaching two seasons as a special teams assistant and defensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints. In 2020, he helped the Saints defense put forth a top-five performance in total defense (fourth), rushing (fourth) and passing (fifth). After beginning his professional career with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League, Wilhoite played six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2012-16) and Seattle Seahawks (2017). He appeared in 79 games with 45 starts in the NFL, totaling 263 tackles, a half-sack, four interceptions, 13 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, a recovery and 28 special teams stops.
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