Chargers Poach Swinton II for ST Coach Vacancy

The former Arizona Cardinals assistant special teams coach is getting a better opportunity with a new team.

Brandon Staley settled on his three coordinators after recently being hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. The team announced Monday afternoon that leading the special teams will be Cardinals assistant special teams coach Derius Swinton II.

Staley also named Joe Lombardi offensive coordinator and Renaldo Hill defensive coordinator.

Of Swinton II, Staley said in a statement, “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. 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.”

Swinton II was hired to the full-time assistant role with the Cardinals on Feb. 5, 2020, but had previously been brought onto the Cardinals staff by head coach Kliff Kingsbury as an NFL diversity coaching fellow in 2019. He served several different roles before his promotion for the franchise during that stretch.

Having more than a decades worth of NFL assistant experience as he enters a new phase with the Chargers, Swinton II arrived in Arizona with an extensive background as a special teams coach. He previously worked as the San Francisco 49ers special teams coordinator in 2016 and coached special teams with the Chicago Bears in 2015 and 2017), Denver Broncos from 2013-14, Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 and then-known St. Louis Rams from 2009-11. 

In the 2018 season, Swinton II was an offensive assistant with the Detroit Lions and spent training camp in 2019 as a special teams intern with the Cardinals as part of the diversity fellowship.

The 35-year-old Swinton II began his NFL coaching career with the Rams in 2009 and was previously a defensive graduate assistant in college with the Tennessee Volunteers in 2007.

Staley was hired to lead the Chargers on Jan. 17 after serving one year as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator, leading the franchise to boast the NFL's No. 1 defense last season. Staley replaced outgoing head coach Anthony Lynn, who was fired after four seasons and a 33-31 record.

According to rankings produced by Lineups.com, the Cardinals featured the No. 18 special teams in the NFL last season, while the Chargers were in the bottom three at No. 30. As such, Swinton will attempt to take his years of experience, including what he garnered from Arizona special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, and improve that unit next year and beyond.