A couple days after the Los Angeles Chargers blew a 27-0 lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the organization made some drastic changes. The Chargers fired Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi, QB Coach Shane Day, and Linebackers Coach Michael Wilhoite. Both Wilhoite and Lombardi having ties to Alt-Leagues with Wilhoite playing for the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks and Lombardi being the Tight Ends & Running Backs coach for the XFL 1.0’s New York/New Jersey Hitmen.
For Lombardi, coaching is in his blood being the Grandson of NFL legend Vince Lombardi. After a couple stints in College Football, Lombardi joined the XFL 1.0 for his first professional opportunity in 2001 coaching with the Hitmen. Lombardi oversaw a Rushing Attack that averaged 100 yards per game and helped Running Back Michael Blair extend his pro career by six season in the Arena Football League. Lombardi now looks to continue his coaching career in as a QB Coach or Offensive Coordinator positon moving forward.
The Chargers also fired Michael Wilhoite their Linebackers Coach. Wilhoite was a member of the 2011 Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL where he’d use that opportunity to begin his Six-Year NFL Career. Wilhoite would begin his coaching career in 2019 with the Saints before joining the Chargers in 2021 spending the last two season with the team before his eventual firing. Wilhoite was instrumental in the development of Drue Tranquill and Kenneth Murray during the 2022 season.
With the firings of Wilhoite and Lombardi, the Chargers do still have an Alt-League Alum Pat White (UFL) on their staff. As we’ve seen like for players Alt-Leagues serve to not only staff on the field but on the sidelines as well. With Lombardi and Wilhoite now unemployed the footprint of the XFL 1.0 and UFL is a bit smaller in the NFL today, but with coaches constantly recycled throughout the league, it shouldn’t be long until both men find another opportunity to prove themselves and continue the legacy of both alt-leagues.
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