The Los Angeles Chargers today agreed to terms with Brandon Staley as the 17th head coach in franchise history. Staley served as the defensive coordinator in 2020 for the Los Angeles Rams after spending three seasons as the outside linebackers coach for Denver (2019) and Chicago (2017-18). Staley’s introductory press conference will be held on Thurs., January 21, with more details to follow.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve known Brandon for five minutes or five years, what quickly becomes apparent is the amount of energy and passion he approaches each and every moment with,” said President of Football Operations John Spanos. “The consistency of that enthusiasm is unique and, most importantly, it drives his ability to connect with people. His coaching journey to this particular moment is inspiring; if not for the sheer perseverance and determination of it all, then certainly for the dramatic results it has produced for the teams and players he has coached. I know it’s cliché but I know Brandon quite literally cannot wait to get to work. I also know we cannot be more excited to have him as the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.”
Staley has coached four Pro Bowlers, some of the most dominant defensive NFL players in recent memory — Khalil Mack in 2018, Von Miller in 2019 and Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey this season. Three of those players (Mack, Donald and Ramsey) were also recognized by The Associated Press as first-team All-Pro selections.
“It’s not just that Brandon possesses a tremendous football mind that makes him the ideal Head Coach to lead our team forward,” said General Manager Tom Telesco. “It’s that he excels in the ability to effectively tailor, apply and communicate his concepts to players. It’s clear that Brandon will not be out-worked, he’s the football equivalent of a gym rat, and that has earned him the universal respect of the players he has coached throughout his journey.”
“It’s hard to put into words just how excited I am for the opportunity to be the Los Angeles Chargers’ Head Coach,” said Staley. “While this is certainly a dream come true, it’s also a dream that’s just beginning. There’s a reason this was probably the most sought after job out there — from ownership, to the fans, to the city, to the men in that locker room — it’s the total package. I can’t thank the Spanos family and Tom Telesco enough for placing their faith in us, and by the time everyone is reading this quote in a press release, we’ll already be hard at work developing a program Chargers fans everywhere can be proud of.”
As one of the most progressive defensive minds in football, Staley overhauled a Rams defense to become the best defense in football in 2020. The unit ranked No. 1 in total defense, passing defense and scoring defense while finishing as the third-best rushing defense. The Rams defensive unit improved by more than four points per game in scoring defense from 2019 to post the best single-season average allowed by the team in nearly two decades.
Staley brought innovation on defense from college to the NFL, serving as outside linebackers coach in Chicago (2017-18) and Denver (2019). He served on Vic Fangio’s staff in Denver after following the former defensive coordinator from Chicago. The 2019 Broncos defense led the NFL in red zone scoring, allowing a touchdown on just 39.1 percent of red zone drives — the second-lowest allowed by any NFL defense in the last five seasons. In his two years with Chicago, the Bears led the NFL in takeaways (58) while tying for No. 2 with 92 sacks. Staley was part of a staff in 2018 that coached the top-ranked scoring defense in football (17.7 points per game).
Prior to coaching in the NFL, Staley spent three seasons (2013, ’15-16) at John Carroll as defensive coordinator/secondary coach and the 2014 season as defensive coordinator/linebackers at James Madison. In his final season as a collegiate coach, Staley earned National Coordinator of the Year honors for Division III by leading the John Carroll unit to rank third in the nation in total defense (218.0 yards per game) and fourth in scoring defense (12.6 points per game).
Before his stints at John Carroll and James Madison, Staley was a graduate assistant in 2012 at Tennessee. Staley held his first coordinator job as associate head coach/defensive coordinator at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College from 2010-11. Over those two seasons, he helped develop Cordarrelle Patterson, Markus Golden and De’Vondre Campbell into NFL Draft picks.
Staley began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Northern Illinois (2006-08) before coaching the defensive line and special teams in 2009 at the University of St. Thomas. He played quarterback at the University of Dayton, serving as a team captain and was a two-year starter. The Flyers posted a 16-5 record when Staley was the starter from 2003-04. He ended his playing career at Mercyhurst University, playing there in 2005 with his twin brother, Jason. A native of Perry, Ohio, Staley and his wife, Amy, have three sons — Colin, Will and Grant.