Nix out, Mueller in as Chargers restructure front office

SAN DIEGO -- Buddy Nix is out as assistant general manager of the San Diego Chargers, with the team saying he retired and his wife saying he resigned.

The Chargers sent out a news release late Tuesday afternoon saying Nix had resigned, and that the personnel department had been restructured by general manager A.J. Smith. The moves included hiring Randy Mueller, a former NFL GM, as senior executive.

Nix wasn't available for comment Tuesday night.

"He more or less resigned," his wife, Diann, said from the couple's home in Tennessee. "He came home this morning."

Neither Smith nor team president Dean Spanos immediately returned phone calls seeking comment.

The Chargers fell one win shy of going to the Super Bowl last season.

Nix, 68, joined the Chargers in 2001 as director of player personnel, following John Butler and Smith from Buffalo to San Diego to rebuild the sad-sack Chargers. Following Butler's death in 2003, Smith was promoted to GM and Nix to assistant general manager. Nix was well-respected as a talent evaluator.

Before joining the Chargers, Nix spent eight years as a scout for Buffalo. He coached in college for 32 years, most recently as head coach of the Tennessee-Chattanooga from 1984-92.

"Buddy has had a long, distinguished career in coaching and scouting," Smith said in a statement released by the team. "I have had the privilege of working alongside him for 15 years in Buffalo and San Diego. He did an outstanding job. We appreciate his contributions and wish him well."

Smith promoted six executives and hired Mueller, the former general manager of the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints.

Mueller was fired Dec. 31 by new Dolphins boss Bill Parcells. He was Dolphins GM for three seasons but in charge of personnel decisions only since coach Nick Saban left after the 2006 season. The Dolphins went an NFL-worst 1-15 last year. Mueller received mixed reviews for his moves in 2007, which included the acquisition of free agent linebacker Joey Porter and the selection of receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and quarterback John Beck in the draft.

Mueller was GM of the Saints in 2000 and 2001. The Saints won the NFC West title and earned their first-ever playoff victory in Mueller's first season with the team.

Ed McGuire, San Diego's executive vice president of football operations, will add the title of assistant general manager and become Smith's top-ranking assistant.

Jimmy Raye, previously the director of college scouting, has been made director of player personnel.

John Spanos was promoted to director of college scouting after serving as the assistant director for the past two years. He is the son of Dean Spanos and the grandson of owner Alex Spanos.

Mike Biehl was promoted to assistant director of college scouting, Tom McConnaughey moves to the new role of national scout and Chris Hobbs becomes the team's executive assistant-player personnel.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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