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History Repeats? Chargers Eye Promise Land with Harbaugh

History often repeats itself and for the Los Angeles Chargers and new head football coach Jim Harbaugh, good things may begin to unfold. When Harbaugh left Michigan after winning the National Championship and cementing a 15-0 perfect season, all eyes were on his move back into the NFL rankings.

The 60-year-old football coach is looking to repeat history once again and turn around a struggling franchise and bring them to the promise land. In 2010, the San Francisco 49ers fired their head coach Mike Singletary in week 16 after posting a 5-10 record. The 49ers finished the season on a positive note with interim coach Jim Tomsula and won a total of six games in 2010. During the offseason, the quest began to find a leader of men who can bring a solid football staff that can mold the young players on the roster. The quest was met when the team hired Jim Harbaugh, Stanford’s head coach from 2007-2010. Harbaugh won 29 games during his tenure and when he took over the program in 2007, the team went 4-8, but each year after they improved and posted a 12 win season in his last year with the team.

Coach left the program better than when he first got there and that is exactly what occurred when he left the San Francisco 49ers in 2014 and the Michigan Wolverines in 2023. He complied a 44-19-1 record with the 49ers and took the team to the playoffs in three out of his four seasons, reaching the Super Bowl during the 2012 season only to lose to his brother John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens 34-31. He also finished his Michigan tenure with 86 wins, 25 losses and a 15-0 Championship 2023 season. He is a proven winner and the Chargers front office and their fanbase should be excited about what is to come.

There is a rich tradition of excellence and winning for the Harbaugh family and every single stop that Jim has been, he has molded players to become better men and taught them not only the game of football but also the game of life. There is a new journey for Harbaugh as he enters this season as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, a team that finished with a 5-12 record.

This football organization has key pieces in place and with a strong coaching staff, they could go from 5-12 to a playoff berth in 2024. Harbaugh has always surrounded himself with solid teachers who can not only bring a technical approach to their coaching, but also can build solid relationships with the athletes that can make each of them play hard for their coaches.

Harbaugh’s staff includes: 


Defensive Coordinator: Jesse Minter

Linebackers: Navorro Bowman

Defensive Backs: Steve Clinkscale

Defensive Line: Mike Elston

Safeties: Chris O’Leary

Defensive Analyst: Dylan Roney

Senior Defensive Analyst: Rick Minter

Defensive Quality Control: Robert Muschamp


Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman

Run Game Coordinator/ Tight Ends: Andy Bischoff

Passing Game Coordinator: Marcus Brady

Quarterbacks: Shane Day

Offensive Line: Mike Devlin

Wide Receivers: Sanjay Lal

Senior Offensive Assistant: Marc Trestman

Special Teams: 

Special Teams Coordinator: Ryan Ficken

Assistant Special Teams: Chris Gould

Coaching Staff Analysis: 

On the defensive side of the football, Harbaugh brought in some really big name coaches. Jesse Minter comes from Michigan as their defensive coordinator under Harbaugh and has a solid track record calling plays. Linebackers coach Navorro Bowman is a former player who you may remember as a stellar linebacker for the 49ers. He will be remembered for his interception return touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons, known as the ‘Pick at the Stick’. Bowman intercepted Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and secured the last victory at Candlestick Park.

Steve Clinkscale comes from Michigan and is a very solid hire for the defensive backs. Coach Clink has 23-years of experience and was the co-defensive coordinator for Michigan last year, giving him a multitude of responsibilities that only made him learn more and perfect his coaching craft. Safeties coach Chris O’Leary has spent the last decade working up the collegiate rankings and was recently with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as their defensive backs/ safeties coach.

Defensive line coach Mike Elston comes from Michigan where he had a direct impact on the physicality on the defensive line last season en route to a perfect 15-0 season. His aggressive mindset and bully-ball mentality in the trenches will be needed for the Chargers this upcoming season.

On the offensive side of the football, Harbaugh once again hired even more big name coaches, many with past NFL coaching experience. The mindset for this was to surround their franchise quarterback Justin Herbert with quality coaches, with the ultimate goal of reaching his true potential at the quarterback position. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman served under Harbaugh during his time with the 49ers and also was most recently a coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. His expertise and ability to run the football will help the Chargers drastically.

Run game coordinator/ tight ends coach Andy Bischoff is as good as it gets at tight end position coach. He also owns a football company that our high school program runs called Pro Quick Draw, as well as being a successful NFL coach with his most recent stop with the New York Giants.

Passing game coordinator Marcus Brady was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts from 2021-2022 and then was with the Philadelphia Eagles as an offensive assistant, helping the team reach the Super Bowl.

Shane Day returns as the quarterbacks coach for the Chargers after spending a season with the Houston Texans as their senior offensive assistant. He and Herbert have a good relationship and that was key for Harbaugh and a main reason he was brought back onto the staff.

The last big name assistant to mention is senior offensive assistant Marc Trestman, a former NFL head coach for the Chicago Bears and a successful coach in the CFL. He was the CFL Coach of the Year twice (2009 and 2017) and has three Grey Cup Championships. His role will be very important and Harbaugh can lean on him at times due to his experience at all of the major leagues.

Wrap Up:

From 5-12 to the playoffs? Absolutely. I have high expectations for this Chargers group and it is mainly due to Coach Harbaugh and the staff he has put into place. Without the hiring of these key coaches, the organization would not be on track to reach the playoffs in 2024. The focus now is with the NFL Draft and free agency and to help Herbert get weapons on the offensive side of the football along with getting key defensive players to help reconfigure a struggling defensive unit.

Ultimately, Harbaugh and the Chargers are on the right track and I am excited to see the transformation this season. What are your thoughts on not only the hires but also the direction in which the organization is heading? Is is something that is positive or will this not work out? Feel free to give your opinion in our comment section below.


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