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Chargers fire coach Turner, GM Smith

The SportsXchange

The San Diego Chargers officially fired coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith on Monday.

San Diego finished 7-9 this year and went 8-8 last year. The Chargers missed the playoffs for the third straight year.

"I thank A.J. and Norv for the determination and integrity they brought to the Chargers each and every day," team president Dean Spanos said in a statement.

"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."

Turner, 60, was 55-40 over six seasons as the Chargers coach. He also coached the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins. His career record is 114-122-1.

The move certainly was not a surprise to Turner, who said after Sunday's season-ending win over the Oakland Raiders that he expected to lose his job.

"Obviously, we're going to meet with the team, and I'm sure they'll start looking for a new coach," he said.

Turner has one year left on his contract, which will pay him $3 million.

The Chargers reached the AFC title game in 2007, Turner's first year as coach, but declined after that.

Smith, 63, has faced heavy criticism in recent years as the Chargers' roster has depleted in talent. He drafted Eli Manning in 2004 and traded him to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers and additional draft picks, which he eventually used on kicker Nate Kaeding and linebacker Shawne Merriman.

Smith also feuded with coach Marty Schottenheimer and fired him after going 14-2 in 2006.
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