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Chargers bid farewell to Don Coryell

Coryell_Don_HS_AP.jpgLegendary Chargers coach Don Coryell, who revolutionized offensive football in the late 1970s and early ’80s with an aggressive passing game, died Thursday at the age of 85.

Chargers president Dean Spanos acknowledged Coryell’s passing in a statement released by the team.

“We are terribly saddened by the passing of Coach Coryell,” Spanos said.  “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.”

A finalist for the Hall of Fame in 2010, Coryell died at 3:15 p.m. PT, surrounded by family members.  He had been in poor health for an extended period of time.

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24 Responses to “Chargers bid farewell to Don Coryell”
  1. nosferatu says: Jul 1, 2010 11:08 PM

    RIP Don

  2. davidc45629 says: Jul 1, 2010 11:19 PM

    What a life he had. Wonder what kind of game we could have seen if his Chargers hadn’t had to go to that freezer in Cincy. I seriously doubt they would have lost to the 49’ers but we’ll never know. God speed Coach.

  3. annetally says: Jul 1, 2010 11:24 PM

    A great man and amazing coach. As a little kid I remember him as the somewhat scary face of the Chargers. I’ll never forget Air Coryell. San Diego lost a giant.

  4. TylerDurden says: Jul 1, 2010 11:35 PM

    RIP Air Coryell. The HOF voters should be ashamed….every last one of them……especially you , Peter King!!!

  5. Arizona Buckeye says: Jul 1, 2010 11:44 PM

    A great man!!!! It is because of Air Coryell that I am a Charger fan all of these years!!! thanks for the great football Don – R.I.P

  6. WingT says: Jul 1, 2010 11:54 PM

    Class all he way…rare for these days…he was special.

  7. timegambit says: Jul 2, 2010 12:03 AM

    That bastard still owes me $14.
    I should let it go.
    RIP

  8. Slow Joe says: Jul 2, 2010 12:29 AM

    RIP Air Coryell.
    Man, that was a fun offense to watch. Fouts, Muncie, Lionel James, Winslow, Joiner, Jefferson, Chandler, Brooks…and Coryell put it all together.

  9. superduperboltman says: Jul 2, 2010 12:32 AM

    Modern Passing games are all branches of the Tree Coryell planted. He won’t be forgotten.

  10. chemicalxv says: Jul 2, 2010 12:34 AM

    # TylerDurden says: July 1, 2010 11:35 PM
    RIP Air Coryell. The HOF voters should be ashamed….every last one of them……especially you , Peter King!!!
    ——————–
    Exactly.
    If anyone wants to see this guy’s impact, just look at Dan Fouts’ career and the records he set. There are many, but among them:
    -First QB with back-to-back 4000-yard passing seasons (also first with 3, as he went over 4000 in 79, 80, and 81)
    -Led the league in passing yards 4 straight seasons, 5 times overall. Dan Marino is the only other QB to lead for more than two straight seasons.
    -Led the league in passing yards/game 5 straight seasons, and 6 overall. No one else led for more than 2 straight.
    -Averaged an NFL-record 320.3 yards/game in 1982
    -At the end of the 1981 season, he had the top 2 passing yardage seasons. 29 years later, they’re still ranked 5th and 9th. Only QB besides Dan Marino with 2-top 10 rankings.
    That was Air Coryell

  11. Qoojo says: Jul 2, 2010 4:25 AM

    RIP
    Your teams were exciting to watch.

  12. Raider3:16 says: Jul 2, 2010 7:01 AM

    You’re a funny guy timegambit! You ought to tour on something. So hit the road!
    AS a young Raider fan I remember very well the passing attack of the Chargers all too well (and that of the Cards too) Fantastic offensive mind!
    God bless.

  13. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Jul 2, 2010 7:20 AM

    “We are terribly saddened by the passing of Coach Coryell,” Spanos said.
    I thought you said his passing was legendary. Why are they now saying they are saddened by it? :-)

  14. radioboy20010 says: Jul 2, 2010 7:31 AM

    All of you who love to watch passing-oriented offense should thank Don Coryell.
    It was innovative when the league was very run-oriented.
    Now that everyone throws the ball alot, it shows how far ahead of his time he was.

  15. DCson says: Jul 2, 2010 7:39 AM

    Skins fans should show their respect because it was Coryell who taught the great Joe Gibbs a lot and gave him a shot at coaching in the NFL. If it weren’t for Coryell, most likely the Skins wouldn’t have those three rings they got in the 80’s.

  16. The Real Shuxion says: Jul 2, 2010 7:55 AM

    Rest in piece bro. If heaven had a football team, he would be the offensive coordinator.

  17. ShootahCowboy says: Jul 2, 2010 8:11 AM

    RIP Don – You are one the few that made immeasurable contributions to football.
    If only you had a defense to go with that offense, you would have had multiple rings.

  18. Tuna says: Jul 2, 2010 8:36 AM

    RIP.
    You helped the game attract new fans with your innovation.

  19. AlanSaysYo says: Jul 2, 2010 9:15 AM

    HOF lock or there is no justice in this world. And I’m nowhere near close to being a Chargers fan.

  20. Florio-is-a-tool says: Jul 2, 2010 9:29 AM

    Coryell had some of the most entertaining teams in NFL history when he was at S.D. Don’t know what he was like as a person but man, what a wizard at what he did. The NFL would be much different (and worse) today if he hadn’t come along.

  21. urworstnitemare says: Jul 2, 2010 10:57 AM

    I am not a Chargers fan, but who didn’t love watching Air Coryell and Dan Fouts football. (Fouts was also a great commentator and I would love to see him back in the booth.)
    Coryell was also the original and entertaining with his facial scowels.
    I did not, nor do I know why he is not already in the HOF, with the changes he made to the game to make it more entertaining. Those who do the voting should all be ashamed for him not being there already.

  22. ChicagoJo says: Jul 2, 2010 10:58 AM

    All modern passing offenses owe you credit, Don. And you had the meanest eyebrows the sport has ever known. God Bless

  23. clemenza says: Jul 2, 2010 11:40 AM

    I agree with a lot of you,absolutely no excuse for Don not being in the Hall of Fame

  24. Panda_Claus says: Jul 2, 2010 11:49 AM

    I can thank Coryell for spawning off Joe Gibbs to my team.
    Mr. Coryell was an offensive genius, not far from the Paul Brown mold of historic NFL minds.

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