Recently, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the winners for the inaugural Awards of Excellence.
These awards honor and recognize individuals from four groups who have been significant contributors to the game of football: assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers, and public relations.
For the Chargers, three former staff members/coaches earned honors including Ernie Zampese, Alex Gibbs, and Sid Brooks, as their names will be placed on display at the Hall of Fame.
Brooks was one of the five equipment managers honored this year. He spent 27 years (1973-2000) with the Bolts in San Diego helping players along the likes of Hall of Famers Dan Fouts and Junior Seau, as well as former Chargers quarterback Stan Humphries, who Brooks, a former Air Force track star, once raced.
But Brooks also made significant contributions to the style we see on the field on Sundays.
Colored facemasks? Colored shoes? Jersey numbers with three colors?
He's credited for co-creating them all.
ERNIE ZAMPESE & ALEX GIBBS
Zampese and Gibbs both received assistant coach Awards of Excellence honors from the PFHOF.
Beginning in 1976, Zampese started as the defensive backfield coach for the Bolts. He returned in 1979 to spend eight more seasons with the team holding a variety of roles including wide receivers coach, assistant head coach, and offensive coordinator.
Under Chargers head coach Don Coryell, Zampese helped coach the famed Air Coryell offense featuring weapons like Hall of Famers Charlie Joiner and Kellen Winslow.
Gibbs is largely credited as one of the NFL's best offensive line coaches and held that role with the Bolts from 1990-1991.