Anthony Lynn
refer to caption
Lynn in 2017
San Francisco 49ers
Position:Assistant head coach & running backs coach
Personal information
Born: (1968-12-21) December 21, 1968 (age 55)
McKinney, Texas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Celina (Celina, Texas)
College:Texas Tech
Career history
As a player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:177
Head coaching record
Regular season:33–32 (.508)
Postseason:1–1 (.500)
Career:34–33 (.507)
Player stats at · PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Anthony Ray Lynn (born December 21, 1968) is an American football coach and former running back who is the assistant head coach and running backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL).[1] He previously played in the NFL for six seasons, primarily with the Denver Broncos. Utilized in a reserve role, Lynn was a member of the Broncos teams that won two consecutive Super Bowls in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII. After retiring as a player, he served as the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers from 2017 to 2020. He was also the interim head coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2016.[2]

Playing career

The 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Lynn played at Celina High School, and later for the Texas Tech Red Raiders (1988–1991), where he was an All-Southwest Conference running back in 1990. His senior year was cut short by a knee injury, and concerns about the injury left him undrafted. Lynn was a journeyman reserve running back and special teams player during his NFL career, playing for the Denver Broncos (1993, 1997–1999) and San Francisco 49ers (1995–1996). He retired in 2000 due to repeated neck stinger injuries. Lynn was part of Denver's back-to-back Super Bowl champion teams in 1997 and 1998.[3]

Coaching career

Denver Broncos

Upon retiring in 2000, Lynn joined the Denver coaching staff as an offensive assistant and special teams coach.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Lynn then joined the Jacksonville Jaguars as the running backs coach (2003–2004). He left Jacksonville after being switched to special teams coach following a coaching staff shakeup by head coach Jack Del Rio in 2005.[4]

Dallas Cowboys

After leaving Jacksonville, Lynn quickly joined the Dallas Cowboys staff as the running backs coach.[5]

Cleveland Browns

On January 26, 2007, with the retirement of Bill Parcells as Dallas head coach, Lynn signed on with the Cleveland Browns to fill their running backs coach vacancy.[6]

New York Jets

Lynn was named the assistant head coach/running backs coach for the New York Jets on February 1, 2012, under head coach Rex Ryan, and was subsequently interviewed for the head coach job in January 2015, after Ryan left. From 2009 to 2013, with Lynn as running backs coach, the Jets running game produced an NFL-leading 137.0 yards per game.[7] In 2013, Lynn helped Chris Ivory establish a team-leading 833 yards on 182 carries.[7]

Buffalo Bills

When Lynn did not get the position of head coach of the New York Jets, he followed Rex Ryan to the Buffalo Bills where he took the same position of running back coach. The Bills had the top rushing game in the NFL during the 2015–2016 season.[8] On September 16, 2016, Lynn was promoted to assistant head coach and offensive coordinator of the Bills when Greg Roman was fired.[9][10] When asked what he wants his offensive identity to be, Lynn responded, "I want to play smart, physical football. I want to be explosive down the field... We're going to play a little bit faster and see if we can put a little pressure on the defense. Just execute."[11] Lynn made his debut as offensive coordinator against the Arizona Cardinals, pulling out a 33–18 win.[12]

Lynn became the interim head coach on December 27, 2016, after Rex Ryan was fired.[13]

Head coach interest

On December 30, 2015, the Miami Dolphins interviewed Lynn for their head coach position.[14] He was the fourth head coaching candidate interviewed that week.[15] Lynn also interviewed for the head coaching job with the New York Jets on January 6, 2015, shortly after head coach Rex Ryan was fired.[16] Lynn knew the organization well and was extremely well-respected.[17]

In January 2016, Lynn was a head coaching candidate for the San Francisco 49ers,[18] but removed his name from consideration before a decision was made.[19] Despite not taking a head coaching position in 2016, media insider Ian Rapoport listed Lynn as one of his candidates in a good position to become a head coach.[20] On January 12, 2017, Lynn was named head coach of the newly christened Los Angeles Chargers and one day later the Chargers officially confirmed his hiring as the new coach.[21]

Los Angeles Chargers

On January 12, 2017, Lynn was hired to become the new head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, the same day that owner Dean Spanos announced that the Chargers were relocating from San Diego to Los Angeles.[22] Lynn's hire was confirmed by the Chargers one day later on January 13 on the team's website.[23] Lynn became the franchise's first African-American head coach in its 56-year history.[24]

In his second season as the Chargers head coach, Lynn led Los Angeles to a 12–4 record, earning its first playoff berth since 2013. The Chargers went on to defeat the Baltimore Ravens in the wild card round 23–17, before being eliminated in the divisional round by the eventual Super Bowl LIII champion New England Patriots by a score of 41–28.

Lynn would miss the playoffs in 2019, finishing last in the AFC West with a 5–11 record.[25] During the subsequent offseason, the Chargers parted ways with Philip Rivers, who had been the team's starting quarterback since 2006.[26] In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Chargers drafted quarterback Justin Herbert of Oregon sixth overall, seen as an eventual replacement for Rivers.[27]

In 2020, the Chargers missed the playoffs and finished third in the AFC West with a 7–9 record, winning their final four games of the season. On January 4, 2021, Lynn was fired by the Chargers. He finished his Chargers tenure with a 33–31 (.516) regular season record and 1–1 postseason record.[28]

Detroit Lions

On January 23, 2021, Lynn was hired by the Detroit Lions as their offensive coordinator.[29] On January 10, 2022, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell announced that the Lions organization and Anthony Lynn were parting ways.[30]

San Francisco 49ers

On February 4, 2022, Lynn was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as their assistant head coach.[31] Lynn gained the additional title of running backs coach when Bobby Turner stepped away to address health issues.[32] Turner returned later to share running back coaching duties.[33]

Following the 49ers' loss in the 2023 NFC Championship Game, the Washington Commanders were granted permission to interview Lynn for their vacancy at offensive coordinator in February 2023.[34]

Personal life

Lynn has a son, D'Anton, and a daughter, Danielle, with his ex-wife, Cynda. He married journalist Stacey Bell on March 5, 2011, in Dallas, Texas.[35] His son, D'Anton, played college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions, and was signed as an undrafted rookie by the New York Jets following the 2012 NFL Draft. D’Anton was soon released. Lynn was supportive of his son's decision to follow in his footsteps, and taught him about the hard work that goes into being a professional football player both on and off the field.[36]

During Cowboys training camp on August 20, 2005, Lynn was a victim of a hit-and-run automobile accident.[37] Lynn and Todd Haley, both offensive assistants for Bill Parcells, were out for pizza after training camp in Ventura, California.[38] As Lynn and Haley were crossing the street, Lynn was hit by drunk driver Sergio Sandoval. Lynn suffered two collapsed lungs, facial and shoulder damage, and temporary paralysis in his lower body. He had four surgeries on his face, knee and shoulder due to the incident. Lynn returned to coaching less than two weeks later. Lynn's story was featured in a Verizon advertisement during Super Bowl LIII in 2019, where he was introduced to the first responders who treated him.[39]

On May 12, 2018, Lynn graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies.[40]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
BUF* 2016 0 1 0 .000 3rd in AFC East
BUF total 0 1 0 .000 0 0 .000
LAC 2017 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC West
LAC 2018 12 4 0 .750 2nd in AFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game
LAC 2019 5 11 0 .313 4th in AFC West
LAC 2020 7 9 0 .438 3rd in AFC West
LAC total 33 31 0 .516 1 1 .500
Total 33 32 0 .508 1 1 .500

* – Interim head coach


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  2. ^ "Bills OC Anthony Lynn Ready For Challenge".
  3. ^ "Anthony Lynn Passes First Test As Offensive Coordinator". Archived from the original on February 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "FOX Sports on MSN - NFL". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  5. ^ "Cowboys add new running backs coach". Plainview Daily Herald. Plainview, Texas. February 15, 2005. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  6. ^ Eatman, Nick (January 26, 2007). "Cowboys Meet With Veteran Coach Wade Phillips". Dallas Cowboys. Archived from the original on February 2, 2007.
  7. ^ a b "Anthony Lynn Coaches Inc. Bio". Archived from the original on October 11, 2016.
  8. ^ "Anthony Lynn Up Among Bills Coaches". January 8, 2016.
  9. ^ "Bills hire Anthony Lynn as running backs coach". Profootball Talk. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  10. ^ "Lynn Helps Bills Get House In Order". October 13, 2016.
  11. ^ "Anthony Lynn Press Conference Transcript". September 22, 2016.
  12. ^ "LA Times "AFC notes: Broncos have been the best in September over the last three years "". Los Angeles Times. September 25, 2016.
  13. ^ "Bills Announce Coaching Changes". Buffalo Bills. Retrieved December 27, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Dolphins Interview Bills Assistant Anthony Lynn for Head Coaching Job". January 6, 2016.
  15. ^ "Dolphins Interview Anthony Lynn". January 6, 2016.
  16. ^ "Anthony Lynn To Get In-House Interview For Jets Head Coach Job".
  17. ^ "Jets Seven Potential Head Coaches". January 6, 2015.
  18. ^ "49ers Set To Interview Anthony Lynn". January 5, 2016.
  19. ^ "Lynn Removes Name From 49ers Consideration". January 22, 2016.
  20. ^ "Possible Head Coaches With Most To Gain And Lose".
  21. ^ "Chargers hire Anthony Lynn as their new head coach".
  22. ^ "Anthony Lynn Stops By NFL Network".
  23. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (January 13, 2017). "Chargers hire Anthony Lynn as their new head coach".
  24. ^ "Chargers officially tap Anthony Lynn as new head coach". January 13, 2017.
  25. ^ Miller, Jeff (December 29, 2019). "Chargers can't hang with Chiefs in season-ending loss, face big offseason questions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  26. ^ Kerr, Jeff (March 21, 2020). "Philip Rivers signs with Colts: Quarterback gets one-year contract worth roughly $25 million". CBS Sports. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  27. ^ Hayre, Chris (April 23, 2020). "Chargers Select QB Justin Herbert at No. 6 overall". Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  28. ^ Smith, Shelley (January 4, 2021). "Los Angeles Chargers fire Anthony Lynn after four seasons as coach". Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  29. ^ Scott, Jelani (January 23, 2021). "Lions to hire former Chargers HC Anthony Lynn as offensive coordinator. On January 10, 2022, Lynn and the lions agreed to part ways". Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  30. ^ Dave, Birkett (January 10, 2022). "Detroit Lions fire OC Anthony Lynn". Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  31. ^ Gordon, Grant (February 4, 2022). "Anthony Lynn expected to be hired as 49ers assistant head coach".
  32. ^ "49ers announce changes to Kyle Shanahan's 2022 coaching staff". March 7, 2022.
  33. ^ Cohn, Grant (September 30, 2022). "Bobby Turner Returns to the 49ers".
  34. ^ Selby, Zach (February 1, 2023). "Commanders set to interview Anthony Lynn for offensive coordinator". Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  35. ^ "Where Are They Now: Texas Tech Alum Anthony Lynn".
  36. ^ "Son Following Anthony Lynn Footsteps To The NFL". Archived from the original on August 17, 2016.
  37. ^ "Cowboys assistant returrns after near-fatal accident". September 4, 2005.
  38. ^ "Coach Lynn Has Put Accident Behind Him". Archived from the original on October 11, 2016.
  39. ^ "Chargers head coach in Verizon Super Bowl ad: It's a 'miracle' I'm alive". February 3, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  40. ^ "Anthony Lynn to receive degree at UNLV's commencement ceremony". May 12, 2018.