Offensive coordinator Frank Reich confirmed Thursday that he had interviewed for the Maryland head coach position, noting that he was approached about the job.
Reich, who has family near the university, said it was a “unique opportunity” to coach at his alma mater -- a campus that also graduated his two daughters – which is why he agreed to the interview.
Reich did not get the job – “It wasn’t the right fit,” he said – but he isn’t complaining. He’s quite happy in his current role.
“Working for the Chargers organization, working with [coach] Mike [McCoy] the last three years is about the most fun I've had as a coach," Reich said. "It'd just be hard to beat what I've experienced here in three years. So every now and then, when players play well and you get an opportunity to look at something like that, I think it's worth looking at. But I had a coach who told me one time when I got in: 'Don't be the kind of guy who's always looking for that next job.' I've really tried to take that to heart.
"With interviews, if they come and when they come, I want to be selective about those things. But you never want to take them for granted."
Reich has been with the Chargers since 2013. He spent his first year as quarterbacks coach before transitioning to the offensive coordinator position in 2014.
Wednesday, the Chargers announced they had let go of special teams coach Kevin Spencer, who joined the team in 2013 after Mike McCoy took over as head coach. This year was Spencer's 25th season in the NFL.
“We talked to Kevin yesterday, went over some things and we decided, moving forward, this was the decision we were going to make,” McCoy said after Thursday’s practice. “This is the part of the business that you hate as a coach. And as the head coach, it is very similar to when you have to release players and do certain things. You have to make certain decisions in this business.
“Kevin is a very good football coach, but he’s an even better person. When we came here three years ago, it was all about bringing in good coaches that are even better people. And he’s one of those people. [This] is what we thought was the best for the organization moving forward. So we wish him well, and all the best of luck in the future.”
Spencer missed at least two games this season due to health reasons. McCoy would not confirm why he was let go.
The move comes after a Chargers punt was blocked late in the fourth quarter of the Jacksonville game, which led to a short field and a Jaguars touchdown. Jacksonville cut the lead to one score and tried for an onside kick, but did not get possession of the ball. The Chargers won the game.
Was the blocked punt the reason for Spencer’s dismissal?
“There’s not just one thing,” McCoy explained. “When you make decisions like this, it’s not just one play. It was a number of things.”
Assistant Craig Aukerman now takes over as special teams coach.
"When Kevin left earlier in the year, the first thing he said to me was, ‘[Aukerman] will do a phenomenal job. He can do a great job, he’ll take control of the room,’” McCoy said. “We have all the confidence in the world in him. Kevin did so much to help Craig in the past couple years.
“[What] I’ve encouraged all the coordinators to do with all of our younger coaches is help them become better coaches, too. They’re part of this staff and they’ve gotta learn. Craig’s got all the confidence in the world to get things done, and we didn’t skip a beat with him last time. So he’s a very good football coach, and I think the players have a ton of respect for him and what he’s done from the very first day.”