History of the San Diego Chargers

History Of The San Diego Chargers

History of the San Diego Chargers

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This article details the history of the San Diego Chargers American Football Club.

The AFL era (1959-1969)

The San Diego Chargers were established in 1959 with seven other American Football League teams: the Denver Broncos, Dallas Texans, Oakland Raiders, New York Titans, Houston Oilers, Buffalo Bills, and Boston Patriots.

Frank Leahy, former Notre Dame University football coach, was named the team's first general manager. Gerald Courtney of Hollywood won an all expenses-paid trip to Mexico City and Acapulco for submitting "Chargers" in name-the-team contest. In 1960, the Chargers began AFL play in Los Angeles; hotel heir Barron Hilton, the team's original owner and son of Hilton Hotels founder Conrad Hilton, unveiled the Chargers' uniforms which featured blue and gold with lightning bolts on the sides of the helmets and trousers, at a cocktail party at Hilton's Santa Monica residence. Players Jack Kemp and Ron Mix modeled the new uniforms. The Chargers would only spend one season in L.A. before moving to San Diego in 1961. They played ten years in the AFL before merging the league into the older NFL. During that ten-year span, San Diego reached the playoffs five times and played for the AFL Championship four times. They won their only AFL title in 1963 when they beat the Boston Patriots 51-10 before 30,127 fans at Balboa Stadium in San Diego.

Their only coach for the ten year life of the AFL was Sid Gillman, former coach of NFL Los Angeles Rams, who...
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