CHARLOTTE - The Panthers have hired another member of the San Diego Chargers coaching staff, naming Rob Chudzinski as their offensive coordinator on Tuesday.
Chudzinski and head coach Ron Rivera both were on the San Diego staff last season - Chudzinski helping the Chargers rank No. 1 in the NFL in total offense as assistant head coach/tight ends coach, and Rivera helping the Chargers rank No. 1 in total defense as defensive coordinator.
"I have worked with Rob and know that he is a very good offensive coach who possesses a strong knowledge on that side of the ball," Rivera said. "I have seen him work with players, and he has the communication skills and expertise to make a most positive contribution to our coaching staff as offensive coordinator."
Chudzinski, 42, has previous experience as an offensive coordinator in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns – on two different occasions. In his first year in the NFL (2004), he served as tight ends coach for the Browns under current University of North Carolina head coach Butch Davis before ending the season as interim offensive coordinator after Davis resigned midseason.
Chudzinski next headed to San Diego for two seasons as tight ends coach, only to return to Cleveland to serve as offensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008 before landing back with the Chargers. In 2007, the Browns ranked eighth in the NFL in total and scoring offense.
A standout tight end on University of Miami teams that won national titles in 1987 and 1989, Chudzinski has worked with tight ends since beginning his coaching career at his alma mater in 1994.
He mentored the likes of Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow II and Bubba Franks in his 10 seasons at Miami, a stay that included three seasons as offensive coordinator (2001-03) before Chudzinski brought his talents to the NFL.
Throughout his two stints in San Diego, Chudzinski coached perennial Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates.