The Los Angeles Chargers today agreed to terms with three coaches to serve as coordinators: Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator, Renaldo Hill as defensive coordinator and Derius Swinton II as special teams coordinator. The three have a combined 29 seasons of NFL coaching experience.
Lombardi, a 15-year NFL coaching veteran, joins Los Angeles after spending the last five seasons as the quarterbacks coach in New Orleans. He has coached four players to be selected to 12 Pro Bowls. Lombardi has been one of the premier quarterbacks gurus in the NFL, coaching the position for 10 seasons over two stints with the Saints (2007-13 and 2016-20). In New Orleans, he showcased his versatility, helping Drew Brees solidify his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks in history, while also overseeing the development of Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater. Under Lombardi, Brees completed 69.9 percent of his passes for 44,278 yards and 338 touchdowns with 116 interceptions — good for a 104.6 passer rating — and was an all-star in nine of their 10 years together.
“I’m just so excited about Joe coming here. The wealth of knowledge and experience he possesses, having operated within one of the premier offensive systems in the NFL for over a decade. You think about the relationship he has with Drew Brees — one of the all-time great quarterbacks to ever play the game — and having a front-row seat to that relationship,” Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said about Lombardi. “It’s huge. And then obviously partnering up with Sean Payton — one of the best offensive coaches in the NFL, really one of the best coaches period — that experience is invaluable. He has a tremendous family, is a guy that is great at earning his players respect and is someone who has a lot of great ideas about what this Chargers offense should, and will, be moving forward.”
Between his stints with the Saints, Lombardi was the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions. In 2014 with Detroit, the offense featured Hall of Fame Finalist Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate as the first pair of Lions teammates since 2006 to each reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Johnson, Tate and quarterback Matthew Stafford were each selected to the Pro Bowl. Lombardi broke into the NFL as a defensive assistant for the Falcons in 2006 before joining the Saints as an offensive assistant from 2007-08. He served as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Mercyhurst (2002-05) after coaching in various roles for the N.Y./N.J. Hitmen of the XFL (2001), Bucknell (2000), Virginia Military Institute (1999) and Dayton (1996-98).
Hill joins the Chargers’ staff after three seasons of tutoring secondaries at the professional level. He coached defensive backs for Denver (2019-20) and was the assistant defensive backs coach in Miami (2018). Over the last two seasons, Hill tutored Justin Simmons to total 189 tackles (132 solo) and nine interceptions, earning second-team All-Pro honors in 2019 and a Pro Bowl selection this past season. In his lone year with Miami, he helped with a position group that had four players pick off multiple passes — Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard (seven), safety Reshad Jones (three), safety T.J. McDonald (three) and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (two). Hill also coached five seasons at the collegiate level at Pittsburgh (2015-17) and Wyoming (2012-13).
“The wealth of experience Renaldo owns, both as a player and a coach in this league, operating at the highest level as a player, playing for some tremendous franchises — and then as a coach, being in our system with [Broncos Head Coach] Vic Fangio and the type of work that he did with Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson. It’s a rare combination,” Staley said about Hill. “He was instrumental in making Justin [Simmons] an All-Pro and one of the best in the game — operating in one of the top systems in professional football. He’s a guy that I have a great personal relationship with and a guy that just has a tremendous background to help our team be successful.”
Over his 10-year playing career, Hill started 114-of-141 games played with Arizona, Oakland, Miami and Denver. He totaled 607 tackles (497 solo), 25 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, 61 passes defensed and 19 interceptions — including one he returned for a touchdown. Hill was selected in the seventh round by the Cardinals in the 2001 NFL Draft and became a regular starter by his third season, where he picked off a career-high five passes.
Swinton has coached special teams in the NFL for 10 seasons, including as the San Francisco special teams coordinator in 2016. With the 49ers, he improved the team’s kickoff return average allowed by nearly six full yards to rank fifth in the NFL that season (19.8). Swinton coached in Chicago as the assistant special teams coach for two seasons (2015, ’17), helping the Bears rank No. 3 in the NFL in 2017 with a 10.5 yards per punt return average. The 2015 season was highlighted by Robbie Gould making 33 field goals, including seven from 50-plus yards — good for the most in his career.
“Derius has tremendous command, is a great teacher and has the ability to see the game on offense, defense and through the kicking game. I can’t emphasize enough what a great teacher he is, fundamentally, from both offensive and defensive perspectives. We’ve worked together before in Chicago, which I obviously value immensely, and even more importantly, he’s had the benefit of having been with one of the premier special teams coaches in the league in Jeff Rodgers,” Staley said about Swinton. “Also, situationally, he’s been instrumental in helping the Cardinals with game management; it’s something that I’m really excited for him to bring to the Chargers.”
As the assistant special teams coach with Denver, Swinton helped coach Matt Prater to a Pro Bowl selection in 2013 — the same year the second-team All-Pro drilled an NFL-record 64-yard field goal and made over 96 percent of his attempts. Swinton held the same position with Kansas City in 2012, helping Dustin Colquitt average a career-high 46.8 yards per punt en route to his first Pro Bowl selection. Swinton began his coaching career as a defensive graduate assistant at Tennessee (2007-08) before starting his NFL career as a special teams quality control for St. Louis (2009-11) and Kansas City (2012). While with the Volunteers, he helped coach Eric Berry earn All-American honors as a sophomore and second-team All-Southeastern Conference as a freshman. Swinton was a two-sport athlete at Hampton University, playing safety and for the basketball team from 2003-06.