SAN DIEGO — After a day spent in the team’s new city introducing themselves to their new business partners, the Chargers appear to have made their first big decision.
The Chargers are planning to hire former Buffalo Bills interim head coach Anthony Lynn as their next head coach, a team source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
A deal is “unofficial, but in the works,” a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Lynn would be the Chargers’ 16th head coach in franchise history and the team’s first African-American head coach. He had a second interview scheduled with the Chargers on Thursday.
The 48-year-old Lynn was one of six candidates initially interviewed by the Chargers. The others included Sean McDermott, who was hired as the Bills’ head coach, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith, Kansas City Chiefs special-teams coordinator Dave Toub, and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
Chargers director of football operations John Spanos kept the team’s staff of assistants on hold after firing Mike McCoy two weeks ago. And it’s said the Chargers would like to keep offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt to maintain continuity for quarterback Philip Rivers.
Lynn also interviewed for the Los Angeles Rams‘ and Bills’ head-coaching vacancies. He was elevated from running backs coach to offensive coordinator in Buffalo two games into the 2016 season when then-head coach Rex Ryan fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Lynn then took over for Ryan for the final game of the season when Bills owner Terry Pegula fired Ryan.
A Texas native, Lynn played running back at Texas Tech and six seasons in the NFL, including stops with the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. Lynn mostly has experience as a running backs coach in the league, including stints with Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets before landing in Buffalo.