FRIDAY, 5:16pm: The Chargers have officially confirmed Whisenhunt’s return, and announced four other changes to Mike McCoy‘s coaching staff. They are as follows:
- Craig Aukerman (special teams coordinator)
- Nick Sirianni (WR coach)
- Giff Smith (DL coach)
- Shane Steichen (QB coach)
WEDNESDAY, 2:27pm: The Chargers may not know yet where they’ll be playing in 2016, but they now know who will be running the team’s offense. According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, former offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is returning to the Chargers to assume the same role, replacing Frank Reich.
Whisenhunt previously served as San Diego’s offensive coordinator during the 2013 season, Mike McCoy’s first as the team’s head coach. The Chargers finished that year with a modest 9-7 record, but won a playoff game, and featured an extremely productive offense. After ranking 24th in the NFL in offensive DVOA in 2012, the Chargers placed second under Whisenhunt in 2013, per Football Outsiders.
In 2014, Reich’s first year as offensive coordinator, San Diego fell from second in offensive DVOA to 11th. The team slipped to 15th in 2015, and also went from scoring nearly 25 points per game in 2013 to just 20 this season, despite the fact that Philip Rivers led the NFL in passing completions (437) and attempts (661). Reich was let go by the Chargers a day after the regular season ended.
Whisenhunt, meanwhile, spent most of the last two years in Tennessee as head coach of the Titans. However, after finishing 2-14 in his first year with the club, he led the team to a 1-6 mark this season before receiving his walking papers.
With the Chargers in need of a new offensive coordinator and Whisenhunt looking for a new job, a reunion made too much sense for the two sides to pass up the opportunity.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.