The San Diego Chargers hired Tim Telesco as their new general manager, setting the table for the team to hone in on its search for a new head coach.
Telesco comes over from the Indianapolis Colts, where he was the vice president of football operations. Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye was also a finalist for the job.
"Tom Telesco has played a crucial role in our successes since he joined the Colts in 1998," Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a statement. "His talent and character also have been apparent to other clubs throughout the league. Despite our efforts to persuade Tom to stay it was only a matter of time before another club snared him to be its general manager. I appreciate everything he has done for the horseshoe and have no doubt he will be successful for years to come. Everyone in the Colts organization wishes Tom nothing but the best."
Telesco, who replaces fired A.J. Smith, will now participate in the search for the Chargers' new head coach. The Los Angeles Times reported the team has reached out to UCLA head coach Jim Mora.
Mora has NFL experience, serving as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for three seasons and the Seattle Seahawks for one. He also has worked for the Chargers, starting his career there as an assistant in 1985.
Mora wrapped up his first season as Bruins coach with a 9-5 record. According to the terms of Mora's five-year contract at UCLA, he would have to pay $3 million if he leaves before Jan. 16 or $2.5 million if he departs during the year after that, the Times reported.
University sources told the Times that they expect Mora to remain at UCLA because of their recent commitment to raising assistant coaches' salaries and improving its football facilities.
"Rest assured that I, along with Chancellor (Gene) Block and the university, share that dedication to Jim and the team, and together we are committed to, step by step, reaching new heights in UCLA football," athletic director Dan Guerrero said Tuesday in an email to UCLA boosters and donors.
The Chargers are attempting to replace Norv Turner, who was fired last week.
They interviewed former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone, who was subsequently hired by the Buffalo Bills, and reportedly are interested in Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. Arians now has another connection within the franchise in Telesco.
Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt and former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith are also reportedly interested in the Chargers job.