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Former JMU Football defensive coordinator Brandon Staley fired by LA Chargers

Chris Graham
(© Steve Heap – shutterstock)

The one NFL coach that I got to interview on his way up the ladder, former JMU defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, was fired on Friday by the Los Angeles Chargers.

Staley was let go after the Chargers’ embarrassing 63-21 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night, a defeat that dropped LA to a 5-9 record in 2023.

Staley was 24-24 in three seasons as the head coach with the Chargers, leading the team to one playoff berth, in 2022.

He was under fire even after that bit of success, following another embarrassing defeat – a 31-30 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a wild-card game that the Chargers led 27-0 at one point.

Staley was hired by LA in 2020 based on his acumen on the defensive side of the ball, after his LA Rams defense ranked first in the league overall that season.

Where I got to talk once with Staley was before his one season as the defensive coordinator at JMU under Everett Withers, back in 2014.

Staley was then just 31 years old, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, moving up from D3 John Carroll University, after serving as a grad assistant at Northern Illinois and Tennessee, with stints at D3 St. Thomas and Hutchinson Community College.

Guy had already paid his dues by the time he got to Harrisonburg.

He’d have more dues to pay.

That year at JMU didn’t work out so well for Staley, who left after the one season, his defense ranking 91st nationally in FCS in 2014, allowing 424.8 yards and 29 points per game.

He ended up back at John Carroll for two more seasons before being hired in 2017 to serve as the outside linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears, then moving on in 2019 to Denver and then getting another bump up in 2020, when the Rams made him their defensive coordinator.

Here’s that interview of Staley from back in 2014.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].