SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky on Thursday after just one year on the job and replaced him a few hours later with linebackers coach John Pagano.
The shake-up came four days after the Chargers finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs for the second straight year, and two days after coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith were notified by team president Dean Spanos that they will return next season.
Pagano said the moves were shocking because he considered Manusky as close as a brother.
"It's a bittersweet day," Pagano said. "I'm excited about the opportunity, don't get me wrong, but I love him very dearly."
Turner defended Manusky at his final news conference of the season on Monday, saying he didn't consider the hiring of Manusky a mistake, as some in the organization reportedly felt.
"Under the circumstances, he and his staff have done a good job," Turner said, suggesting that the Chargers lack impact players.
"I don't know if our philosophies are that much different. We both kind of learned under Wade Phillips," Pagano said, mentioning the former Chargers' defensive coordinator. "This was a dream of mine to become the defensive coordinator here. I've worked many years here, and it's something I've always looked forward to. ... We've just got to play better and play smarter. See the ball and go tackle the guy with the ball and good things will happen."
Pagano spent the last 10 seasons on San Diego's staff and has coached linebackers since 2005.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press