Nov 1, 2012; San Diego CA, USA; San Diego Chargers Norv Turner reacts during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers defeated the Chiefs 31-6. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Top Ten Replacements for Norv Turner



Although we have yet to be eliminated from the playoff race, it seems inevitable that Norv Turner will be fired.  I have not yet given up hope for this season but part of my job here at BoltBeat is to write about things that I find to be possible and relevant.

Needless to say, Turner’s firing is possible.  Therefore the topic is deemed relevant.

I have seen quite a few names thrown around via Twitter, the comment sections of articles, sports shows and by the sports media.

I have decided to come up with my own list of candidates that I would like to see bring this franchise back to prominence.

Despite not having won a Superbowl, I would love to push the days of missing the playoffs so far back in the rearview that the fans again take such a thought for granted.

It seems to most of us that the Chargers have an extremely talented squad.  Although they do have some holes to fill, I am of the opinion that under the right general manager and head coach the Bolts could right the ship in one very strong offseason.

Below I will list my top replacements for Norv Turner.  Some you will like while others will have you calling for my termination from this website.  I hope that the former outnumbers the latter.

Top TenReplacements for Norv Turner

10.  Jay Gruden -  The brother of Jon Gruden, Jay is the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.  I like what he has done with the offense and I think he would be fired up about stepping out of his brother’s shadow.  Before you tear this choice apart, remember that I have nine more to go.

9.  Todd Bowles  -  Bowles is the new defensive coordinator for the Eagles.  He is also the only Eagle to make my list.  Sorry, Andy Reid fans.  Bowles has already drawn some interest from other teams.  I liked him as a player and he has a fiery yet professional type attitude.  He seems to me like he would hold every player accountable at all times.

Here’s the one you’re all going to hate.  ( Except @SkinnyDuziIt a.k.a. Jerome Watson of )

8.  Josh McDaniels -   Go ahead and bash what he did with the Broncos.  Some even like to call him Norv Jr.  McDaniels is a great offensive mind and deserves a second chance as a head coach.  I think he would do great with Philip and our receiving corp.  He is an intense guy that knows where to draw the line with his players.  He has shown that he can put up points while being aggressive yet calculated.  He would definitely need a strong defensive coordinator.

7.  Mike Zimmer  -  Zimmer is currently the defensive coordinator for the Bengals.  I have no love affair with the Bengals.  I just like their coordinators.  Zimmer has been coaching for 30 plus years between his college and NFL duties.  He is another fiery-type personality and has run a 3-4 defense.  He is great with defensive backs and has a knack for developing pressure through his scheme.

6.  Rich Bisaccia  -  I just flat out love Bisaccia.  The only reason he is so far down the list is that I think we need someone with no prior experience with these players.  He is extremely vocal and does not put up with any crap.  He is already the team’s assistant head coach.  If Norv were to be fired before the end of the season, we would most likely get a glimpse at what Rich would do while serving as interim HC.

5.  Wade Phillips – This is the other one that I expect people to roast me about.  Heck, my dad is about to call me as soon as he reads this choice.  Phillips has failed in multiple attempts as a head coach with Buffalo and Dallas.  If I thought it possible for him to make a lateral move from DC of the Texans to DC of the Chargers then that is what I’d hope for him to do.  But he won’t, in my opinion.  Wade made it clear before the season that he wanted to return to being a HC.  I am awe struck by what he’s done with a once terrible Houston defense.  He may seem a bit “Norv-esque” personality-wise, but I think he realizes his next opportunity will be his last.

4.  Jon Gruden - Chucky.  Talk about fiery and intense.  Gruden seems to already be a fan favorite to replace Norv should Turner be fired.  Gruden would absolutely love to work with Rivers.  I feel like Chucky could definitely get this bunch going and effectively utilize whatever new talent was brought in to this team.  Gruden’s teams have always featured a good defense so we would need to make some changes there but not a complete overhaul.  I must admit that if you asked me last year who I would like as a head coach I might have had Gruden number one.

3.  Bill Cowher  -  The Chin.  Speaking of holding players accountable!  Cowher is a Marty Schottenheimer disciple and a great coach.  It has been rumored that he would like to return to coaching.  It has also been said that he would rather not.  Cowher would turn this defense into a well-oiled, disciplined machine.  He would need a good offensive coordinator.  I have zero doubt that if he came back to coaching, coordinators would be begging to interview to be on his staff.

2.  Sean Payton – Let me start by saying that I find it nearly impossible that he leaves the Saints.  Recently the NFL has given him permission to renegotiate his contract with New Orleans.  But I’d be remissed if I didn’t put him on my list.  Payton is an amazing playcaller and would demand better players for the offensive line.  The Chargers could look to upgrade all o-line positions minus center and right guard in the offseason.  The guy is gutsy as we all saw on the opening kickoff of the second half of the Saints Superbowl win over the Colts.  The guy chose to onside the ball in the Superbowl!  Love it.  It takes guts to win in this league.  Something that a certain someone doesn’t seem to have……

1b.  Mike Holmgren -  Holmgren has a quite the background under his belt at this point in his career.  He has said that he misses coaching and would not rule out a return to being a head coach in the NFL.  He will be at the top of many team’s lists that are looking to revive their respective franchises.  Holmgren runs a west Coast offense that he learned while under the late, great Bill Walsh.  The Holmgren coaching tree has many branches such as Steve Mariucci, Jon Gruden, Andy Reid, Dick Jauron, etc.  I would be ecstatic if he came to the Bolts.  He would refuse to accept mediocrity in any way, shape, or form.

1a.  Chip Kelly -  For those of you that don’t watch college football, Kelly is the head coach of the Oregon Ducks.  Kelly is a maverick in the coaching business.  He is intense, gutsy, very intelligent, and coaches the game mathematically.  He is extremely aggressive and refuses to go down without a fight.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were ready to name him their HC in the offseason but he turned down the job.  It’s argued that he is one of the most innovative offensive minds in the college game.  In 2010, Kelly won practically every coaching award possible.  The man has catapulted himself from New Hampshire’s offensive coordinator in 2006 to Oregon offensive coordinator in 2007 to head coach in 2009 of one the best team’s in the nation.  The excitement that Kelly would bring to the Chargers could be exactly what this team so desperately needs.


Let me start by saying that I could not decide between Chip Kelly and Mike Holmgren as my number one.  I put Chip first due to alphabetic order of their first names.  Lame, I know.

I have no doubt that people would like to have seen Andy Reid on this list.  I just don’t think he is the answer here in San Diego.  He has had some serious family issues and I would hope he takes a year or two off to relax and spend some quality time with his family.  He is a good coach.  Reid has only had two losing seasons as HC of the Eagles.


I’d like to provide one “bonus coach” that my dad laughed at me when I brought him up two years ago.  I brought him up, again, two weeks ago.  Same response.  If I could choose anyone to be the head coach of the San Diego Chargers it would be Jimmy Johnson.  I know that he has stated that he will remain retired.  After seeing his ” A Football Life” on NFL network, it rekindled every reason that I would love for him to come to San Diego.

But that’s not happening.

So there you have it.  My list of 11 coaches that I would like to replace Norval Turner.  I even added my bonus/dream coach.  Please let me know if there are any coaches that you would like to see lead the Chargers.  You can do so in the comment section.


Thanks a lot for reading.





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  • 619chargers4life

    nice list
    my vote would go for Gruden, kelly. and i would say Payton but he will be back in NO. i just hope who ever it is has the will and the drive to want to get San diego its first title and put there name on the map along with the Chargers . Go Bolts

  • ChargerGirl Cindi

    I would take any one of those guys. I would add Travon Martin to the list, he’s a badass AYF coach.

  • Abraham Banuelos

    My votes would be for Payton, Zimmer, Bisaccia, and Kelly. Maybe Holmgren. The others I don’t want coaching here

  • Pels04

    I agree with Chip Kelly being at number 1 and he really is the only one that i would take a risk on. I dont want OC’s that have already failed at the HC position. I would take Chip or a proven HC.

    • tiiiiiiiiiiits11

      Chip Kelly’s offensive system would NOT translate well to the NFL. I’d put all my money on it. Unless RGIII is the qb, there is no way it would work. Should be really interesting to see who we bring in though.

      • Pels04

        One thing he is really good at is adapting. He is an offensive genious and i think he is capible of running more than one style of offense. Plus AJ did say a new era in chargers football, that could mean Rivers might not be our QB anymore. Long shot I know but just sayin

  • Pete Spinning

    Good article mang! Loved this one ; )

  • Saul Lopez

    Great article, although Payton would be awesome I think a more realistic pick would be Holmgren or Cowher to bring some fire & discipline to our team. As for Kelly even though I love what he’s doing in Oregon it just wouldn’t work without the most important piece of that offense which is a mobile QB & we all know PR17 is anything but mobile.

  • Chris Hudson

    I like the list for the most part but your missing one person and the man I hope is the new head man in SD Gus Bradley DC is seattle he is all about the discipline and is the perfect personality change this team needs

  • arnie

    i like the list Booga.
    6-10 would be 1-5, an 1a – 5 would 6a-10.
    one i would add Brian Bilick.

  • Nick Diaz

    As long as ANY of them are an improvement over Norv, I’m all for him.

  • JoseSD

    Mike Zimmer is the only one I really like on this list. Im getting tired of commenting my reasons why I don’t want “chucky” here so I wont even bother

  • RussinSactown

    How about Pagano?

  • miketuck

    I vote for Booga B he has alot of experience that would be key for the Chargers.

  • miketuck

    Seriously though, I like where Russel Grant is going, but how about them Astecs! One other coach came from a local Aztec team, Don Coryell remember, oh Booga you were too young. But he was the best coachthe Chargers has had. The Chargers need a young fresh coach, as the league is changing and the style of play. The trouble with older coaches is when their to stubborn to try ad be reborn. here’s a noval idea, Spanos apologize with all censarity to Schotinhiemer and give him total control if he can get his son to join him!! That’s where the train left the track in the first place. For those that blame Marty for not winning that playoff game, ask yourself this. What if Tomlinson had been a warrior alla Rocky Blier and at least would have tryed to play with every amount of his being? How would his teamates reacted, intead he pouted on the sideline not even cheering for his teamates. It’s the little things that true football players do like that, that gets them over the edge and on a roll. No one wants to say it, but LaDanian in the post season was never there for his team. Now Rivers won’t be, his confidence in backing Turner and then having a line that can’t stop anyone from killing him has had him yelling at Turner. He’s done, and Jarret lee would look really good in a Charger Uniform right now. Nice job Smith! They ought to sign him right now if possible.