Former Chargers head coaches Don Coryell and Marty Schottenheimer have been named semifinalists in the Coach/Contributor category for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2023 class.
The pair, who left an indelible mark on the Chargers, is part of a group of 29 Coach/Contributor semifinalists who advance to the next round of consideration.
It's not hyperbole to say football wouldn't be what it is today if it were not for Coryell. Ahead of his time, the iconic coach revolutionized and modernized the game through his electrifying "Air Coryell" offense known for taking deep shots and having the other side of the ball defend every blade of grass by putting offensive weapons, like Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, in motion and turning those position players into pass catchers.
He compiled a 111-83 regular season record over his 14 years in the league, as he spent five years as the St. Louis Cardinals head coach before he was hired by the San Diego Chargers in 1978 where he coached for nine seasons.
During Coryell's tenure in San Diego, the Chargers won three AFC West titles, played in four Divisional Round playoff games (including The Epic in Miami), and two AFC Championship games. Winslow, quarterback Dan Fouts, and wide receiver Charlie Joiner were all enshrined in Canton due to the careers they had under Coryell.
Schottenheimer spent 21 seasons in the NFL coaching for four franchises including the San Diego Chargers from 2002-2006. It was there he implemented his famed power rushing attack otherwise known as "Marty Ball" and his "one play at a time" philosophy.
During his time with the Bolts, Schottenheimer led the franchise to a pair of division titles and an overall record of 80-47. In 2004, he was named AP Coach of the Year as the Chargers went 12-4 during the regular season. Two years later, he coached the Bolts to a franchise-best 14-2 record with 11 Pro Bowlers that season, including tight end Antonio Gates, quarterback Philip Rivers and Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson. His 200 wins are the eighth-most by a head coach in NFL history.
The respective selection committees now will consider the candidates and vote to send 12 Coach/Contributors through to the Finalists stage. The results of those reduction votes will be announced July 27.
Coach/Contributor Committee members will then meet Aug. 23 to select one Coach or Contributor for final consideration for the Class of 2023.
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