The San Diego Chargers hired Mike McCoy, the 40-year-old former offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos, as their new head coach, making him the 15th head coach in the team’s history.

“We interviewed five extremely qualified, highly sought after coaches,” said Chargers President Dean Spanos. “It was a tough decision, but in the end all signs pointed to Mike.”

Other candidates interviewed by Spanos, according to media reports, included Lovie Smith, former head coach of the Chicago Bears; Ken Whisenhunt, former head coach of the Arizona Cardinals; and Jay Gruden, an assistant coach with the Cincinnati Bengals.

McCoy, whose team’s season ended Saturday when the Broncos were upset by the Baltimore Ravens, helped lead Denver to a 13-3 regular season finish, and 11 straight wins before the playoff loss.

Spanos said McCoy has all the qualities he was looking for in a coach and leader. “He has a very structured vision about how to build and run a football team...and he has shown he has one of the most innovative minds in football.”

McCoy coached under Denver Head Coach John Fox, both in Denver and Carolina. “Mike understands offenses in this league. Beyond that, he’s got a great football mind. His preparation and detail—his level of organization—is very strong,” Fox said.

McCoy also interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chicago Bears, and Arizona Cardinals before meeting with the Chargers, and deciding this was the right job, according to media reports.

The Chargers, coming off their third consecutive season of not reaching the playoffs, fired both General Manager A.J. Smith and Coach Norv Turner following the final game of the 2012 season in which they went 7-9.

Last week, the team hired Tom Telesco, 40, as its new GM. Telesco is the former vice president of football operations for the Indianapolis Colts and is the youngest GM in Chargers history.

He spent the last 15 seasons with the Colts, starting as an area scout in 1998, and moving up to his most recent job where he had a hand in building one of the more successful franchises in the National Football League.

--Mike Allen