After far too many years of falling just short of the finish line, legendary Chargers coach Don Coryell has finally been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the class of 2023.
A pioneer of the modern NFL passing attack, Coryell helped revolutionize the NFL with his “Air Coryell” offense that he utilized through the arm of Dan Fouts and his elite core of pass catchers which included fellow Hall of Famers Kellen Winslow and Charlie Joiner.
You cannot tell the story of the NFL without Don Coryell. He should have been inducted years ago, but better late than never.— Chris Hayre (@chrishayre) February 10, 2023
After five seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Coryell was hired by the Chargers in 1978. He coached in San Diego for nine years, beginning with a 9-7 record in his first season which marked the Chargers’ first winning record since 1969.
Coryell didn’t take his foot off the gas as he helped the Bolts win three-straight division titles in 1979-1981.
From the first year he was hired, Coryell and his “Air Coryell” offense helped the Chargers lead the NFL in passing yards for six straight seasons (1978-1983) and then once more in 1985 while finishing second in 1984.
“Don Coryell has earned his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Fouts of his former head coach. ”Simply put, Air Coryell changed the game on both sides of the ball. One cannot write the history of the National Football League without the contributions of Coach Coryell.”
Coryell passed away at the age of 85 in 2010. He became the 11th member of the Chargers organization to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining the likes of his former players in Fouts and Winslow, alongside other legends in linebacker Junior Seau and running back LaDainian Tomlinson.