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Brandon Staley's Journey to Head Coach
Many of Staley's former colleagues and mentors share their thoughts on the impact he made at their programs that's led to his new role with the Chargers.
By Hayley Elwood Mar 11, 2021

"We were competing in college to win every single game, but in my heart and after I was done preparing for a college game, I was studying the NFL and trying to become as good as I could be to compete in this league because that was always the dream of mine ... I think they uniquely prepared me for this opportunity. I think that back then, if you talked to the people that were with me that I worked with, coached with or coached against, I would hope they would say that they thought this was possible."

That was Brandon Staley in his introductory press conference discussing the very quick rise he's had throughout his coaching career that's led him to becoming Chargers' 17th head coach in franchise history.

We went to some of those people who know Staley best from his playing and coaching stops along the way, to get insight on the "double education" he achieved over the last 15 years to make it to the highest rank of coaching in the NFL.

Here are many of Staley's former colleagues and mentors sharing their thoughts on the impact he made at their programs that's led to his new role with the Chargers.


Quarterback (2003-2004)

"I'm very confident that Brandon is going to have a lot of support; the coaching staff is going to have a lot of support to get you off on the right foot. I want to wish him the very best, but I want to finish, as always have at practice, with the quote for the day: 'Keep your head down, keep chopping wood, my friend.'"

Mike Kelly, former Dayton Head Coach


Graduate Assistant (2006-2008)

"The thing that impressed me about Brandon as a GA is he really came here and went to work. He was seen and not heard, he got his job done, he was efficient, effective and had a great relationship with the players. That stuck with me as a young coach, that he was able to have that connection [with the players] but still had that command.

"We connected a few years ago when he was with the Bears and I was with the Ravens. We're happy for him and the opportunity he has with the Chargers and certainly wish him the best."

Thomas Hammock, NIU Head Coach


Associate HC/DC (2010-2011)

"Coach Staley has a way of challenging everyone involved in the program to be the best at their craft. His spirit is contagious and his passion and energy for the game of football was evident from the first day on campus here at Hutchinson Community College. It has been awesome to see his success while moving up in the coaching ranks and all of Blue Dragon Nation shares in the excitement for him and his family. 

"We are proud and know the Chargers have a great one as their next head football coach."

Joshua Gooch, Hutchinson Community College Athletic Director


DC/Secondary Coach (2013, 2015-2016)

"Coach Staley is a true leader on the field and in the community. His knowledge and passion are evident as he continues to develop athletes to their highest potential, all while working toward the goals of the team.

"The John Carroll community is so proud of Brandon and the impact he continues to make on others."

Michelle Morgan, Senior Director of Athletics & Recreation, John Carroll University


OLB Coach (2017-18/2019)

"(Being innovative is) something he's always done in his career even when he was coaching at the lower levels of college football. They have access to a lot of video from the NFL and you could tell he was studying that. You could tell he was studying our defenses when I was in San Francisco years ago … He tries to stay ahead of the curve and be on top of anything and everything that's new out there.

"Brandon's beaten a lot of odds throughout his life and this is another one. I saw when he was getting three or four (head coaching) interviews that it was a strong possibility that he would land one of them. I knew the people doing the interviewing would be very, very impressed with him. Although it's a small body of work in the NFL, it's been an impressive body of work. I think he's gonna do a great job with the Chargers."

Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos Head Coach & Former Chicago Bears DC

Check out some photos of Brandon Staley's previous coaching stops that led him to be named the 17th head coach in Chargers history.

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