In a move that ranks among the least surprising on a brisk Black Monday, the San Diego Chargers are cleaning house.
Team chairman and president Dean Spanos announced Monday that coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith have been fired.
"I thank A.J. and Norv for the determination and integrity they brought to the Chargers each and every day," Spanos said in a statement released by the Chargers. "Both Norv and A.J. are consummate NFL professionals, and they understand that in this league, the bottom line is winning. My only goal is the Super Bowl, and that is why I have decided to move in a new direction with both our head coach and general manager positions. I am committed to our great fans, and we will do whatever we possibly can to achieve that goal."
The Chargers' search for a new GM and a new coach will be led by Dean Spanos, John Spanos, Ed McGuire and Ron Wolf, NFL.com's Albert Breer reported.
Turner acknowledged to reporters Sunday that he expected to be let go after San Diego's 7-9 finish. He compiled a 55-40 record over six seasons with the Chargers, but his 24-24 mark since 2010 was littered with excruciating losses, streaky play and the erosion of talent on both sides of the ball. That's where Smith enters the picture.
In 10 seasons with the Chargers, Smith helped build one of the NFL's most talented rosters, but that talent melted away in recent years as the GM earned a reputation for alienating his players with stubborn contract negotiations. A string of shaky drafts, player departures and questionable free-agent signings didn't help.
Smith turned heads when he fired coach Marty Schottenheimer following a 14-2 season in 2006. Smith's decision to hand the reins to Turner never sat well with Chargers fans, who called for change long before this troubling season came to a close.