His Life
Quotes from the San Diego Chargers on the passing of Don Coryell
Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner:
“Today is a terribly sad day for anyone who has ever been involved in football. Coach Coryell’s passing is a great loss for the game. I have the highest regard for him and his impact on the sport. Even though I didn’t get a chance to personally work for him, you almost feel as though you did because of the influence he had on the guys who I learned from, guys like Ernie Zampese. He will most definitely be missed.”
Chargers wide receivers coach and NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Charlie Joiner:
“I am saddened upon hearing the passing of one of football’s greatest legends. He was a giant. Don Coryell was a great offensive coordinator, a great head coach, and above all, he was a great person. Thanks to Coach Coryell’s offense and his revolutionary passing game, he prolonged my career, from the day I got to the Chargers until the day I retired. I will forever be grateful to him and what he did for the game of football.”
Chargers Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts:
“We are talking about a most unbelievable individual loved by thousands of players and fans because of his style, his graciousness and his warmth, and for his love of football and the way the game should be played.”
Chargers broadcaster and former fullback and special teams standout Hank Bauer:
“I feel like I lost a member of my family and the unique thing about that is that there are probably two million people in this city who feel the same way. That’s the kind of impact that Don Coryell had here. For anyone who ever played or coached for Coach Coryell, and I had the honor of doing both, it’s an unbelievable loss. Football-wise, Coach Coryell changed the way the game was played and still is played today. In terms of his legacy as a teacher, a coach and a mentor, his lineage speaks for itself, especially when you look at the guys he brought into the game and their accomplishments. Pro football lost a great man today.”


        Legendary San Diego Chargers Head Coach Don Coryell, the man who revolutionized the forward passing game and later earned the nickname “Air Coryell,” passed away on Thursday afternoon at the age of 85.

Coryell had battled a lengthy illness and died at 3:15 pm surrounded by family at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, California.


“We are terribly saddened by the passing of Coach Coryell,” said Chargers President Dean Spanos. “He revolutionized the game of football, not only in San Diego, but throughout the entire NFL. Don Coryell was a legend not only with the Chargers but throughout San Diego. Though unfortunately he did not live long enough to see it, hopefully one day his bust will find its proper place in Pro Football’s Hall of Fame. He will be missed.”

The Chargers’ head coach from 1978-86, Coryell compiled a record of 72-60. His teams won three division titles, played in four divisional playoff games and two AFC Championship Games. With the Chargers, Coryell oversaw one of one of the most exciting teams ever seen in professional football. His ground-breaking approach to the passing game completely transformed the Chargers' offensive attack and revolutionized scoring in the NFL. Coryell won AFC coach of Year honors from the Professional Football Writers of America in 1979. He was inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame in 1994 and selected as one of the 50 Greatest Chargers of All-Time in 2010.