Schottenheimer will coach the Chargers in 2004

AJ Smith announced on Tuesday that Marty Schottenheimer will in fact coach the San Diego Chargers in 2004. The announcement came before the end of the 2003 season to avoid speculation and the media frenzy certain to exist if the move did not come before the end of the season.

The Chargers are 11-20 in two seasons under Marty Schottenheimer, the NFL's ninth-winningest coach, and Schottenheimer is scheduled to make $5 million over the next two seasons.

The following is a press release from General Manager AJ Smith:

To put an end to questions spurred by coaching changes around the league, General Manager A.J. Smith confirmed today that Marty Schottenheimer will be the head coach of the Chargers in 2004.

"The constant questions were becoming a distraction for us, so I felt it was time to end the speculation once and for all," said Smith, the team's general manager since April. "After the season we will assess the entire organization from top to bottom and address the issues that led to this very disappointing season."

"We stand behind Coach 100-percent," Smith added. "Coach Schottenheimer is one of the winningest coaches in NFL history. I believe in the benefits of stability and continuity. We haven't given him enough time or enough talent on the field."

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