On Wednesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced their group of 54 semifinalists still in the running to be named to next year’s 2023 class. While no former Chargers players were named to the 54, former coaches Don Coryell and Marty Schottenheimer were named as part of the Coach/Contributor category.
We all know how much Coryell deserves to be in the HoF. He revolutionized the NFL passing game during the early 1980s with his iconic “Air Coryell” offense led by quarterback Dan Fouts and tight end Kellen Winslow. He coached the Chargers for nine seasons where he won three AFC West titles and played in two AFC Championships. Fouts, Winslow, and wide receiver Charlie Joiner are all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame due to their success within Coryell’s offense. At this rate, it’s becoming more and more befuddling that the author of the modern passing attack has yet to make it into the Hall.
Schottenheimer only spent five of his 21 seasons in the NFL with the Chargers but he’s arguably viewed as the most famous coach in team history other than the aforementioned Coryell. He won a pair of division titles and compiled an overall record of 80-47 which was headlined by a historic 14-2 season that included sending 11 players to the Pro Bowl. That was also the year “Marty Ball” hit its’ peak. The run-heavy offense led to a record-setting season by LaDainian Tomlinson in which he set the single-season record for touchdowns in a season with 31.
The respective committee members will get together in the coming weeks to vote on 12 finalists with those results scheduled to be announced on July 27th. On August 23rd, the committee members will get together to vote for one coach or contributor to be inducted among the Class of 2023.