Legendary Chargers Coach Don Coryell Headed to Pro Football Hall of Fame

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San Diego football fans finally got their wish: Don Coryell is headed to Canton.

Coryell didn’t have the team success comparable to other coaches to get voted into the Hall, winning 111 regular-season games for the Cardinals and Chargers and never reaching a Super Bowl, but his impact on the game with his famous “Air Coryell” offense in San Diego was more than Hall of Fame worthy. Fans in San Diego have been shouting for his induction for years.

The man was one of the most innovative and influential coaches in history. Heck, they named an entire offense after him! Coryell revolutionized the passing game at San Diego State in the 1960’s (for that, thankfully he is a member of the College Football Hall Of Fame).

He took his pass-first mentality to the NFL in 1973, and fielded the NFL's top passing offense six years running in San Diego. Many of the schemes, routes, personnel groupings, even the terminology are direct descendants of the system Coryell pioneered. With Kellen Winslow, he revolutionized the way tight ends were utilized.

He was named AFC Coach of the Year in 1979, five years after taking AP Coach of the Year with the Cardinals. The 1999 College Football Hall of Famer inductee was also the first coach to win 100 games at the college and NFL levels.

Coryell passed away in 2010. One of his proteges John Madden said at his memorial service, “You know, I’m sitting down there in front, and next to me is Joe Gibbs, and next to him is Dan Fouts, and the three of us are in the Hall of Fame because of Don Coryell. There's something missing."

He won't be missing much longer. Coryell will finally be enshrined on August 5.

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