Chargers fire Henning after 3rd losing season 16-32 record forces Beathard's decision

December 24, 1991

Dan Henning, who thought he would get another chance with San Diego, was fired yesterday, one day after he completed his third straight losing season with the Chargers and seventh overall as an NFL head coach.

Henning's entire staff also was dismissed, although general manager Bobby Beathard said he would encourage Henning's replacement to interview the assistant coaches. Henning's staff included defensive secondary coach Jim Mora, son of New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Mora, and receivers coach Charlie Joiner, who is San Diego's all-time leading pass catcher.

Henning finished the third and final guaranteed year of a five-year contract he signed when he took over as coach in February 1989. The Chargers finished this season 4-12, giving Henning a 16-32 record in San Diego.

Beathard said that he had input from owner Alex Spanos, but that the decision to fire Henning was his. Beathard said it was a "very, very tough, emotional decision," to fire Henning, whom Beathard has known since the early 1980s, when he was GM of the Washington Redskins and Henning was an assistant coach.

Beathard said he hoped to name a replacement by the end of the first week in January. He said the list of candidates includes some NFL assistant coaches whom he wouldn't identify other than to say their teams were in the playoffs, plus Georgia Tech coach Bobby Ross and Miami coach Dennis Erickson.

* SEAHAWKS: Chuck Knox said he wants to coach somewhere next season, even if it's not in Seattle.

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