Antelope Valley Press



Chargers hire Jesse Minter as defensive coordinato­r

COSTA MESA — Jesse Minter is following Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Minter was announced as the Chargers’ defensive coordinato­r on Tuesday night. He is the second member of Harbaugh’s Michigan staff to be confirmed as taking a job with Los Angeles. Ben Herbert was announced as the strength and conditioni­ng coach last Thursday.

Minter directed the Wolverines’ defense the last two seasons. They were the top-ranked unit in the country last season, allowing 247 yards per game as Michigan went 15-0 and won its first national championsh­ip since 1997.

This will be Minter’s second stint in the NFL. He spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens (2017-20) under Harbaugh’s brother, John, the first three as a defensive assistant and the last as defensive backs coach.

Minter left Baltimore in 2021 to become the defensive coordinato­r and safeties coach at Vanderbilt. He has also coached at Cincinnati, Indiana State and Georgia State.

Minter will be tasked with turning around a defense that has struggled despite having safety Derwin James and linebacker­s Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. The Bolts were 28th in the league in total defense and 30th against the pass. It is the first time since 1986 they have been ranked 20th or lower in total defense for three straight seasons.

New Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz, who held his introducto­ry news conference on Tuesday, said there are players on the roster who should fit easily into the team’s new defensive scheme.

With Minter having learned under Don “Wink” Martindale during his time in Baltimore, Hortiz is aware of what Minter will need.

“The way that the Chargers’ roster is built is similar to the Ravens’ defense, in terms of the edges, the three down linemen and the two inside linebacker­s,” Hortiz said. “It’s not going to be a big shift, in terms of how we’re going to build this team out. I think the big thing is mentality. Let’s go. Let’s attack.”

Former Senators coach D.J. Smith joining LA Kings as an assistant

EL SEGUNDO — Former Ottawa Senators coach D.J. Smith was hired as an assistant coach by the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

General manger Rob Blake said Monday the Kings were looking to hire an assistant coach from outside the organizati­on after Jim Hiller was named interim coach. Hiller was promoted last Friday after Todd McLellan was fired after four-plus seasons as head coach.

Smith was the fourth

NHL coach fired this season on Dec. 18. He was 131-154-32 behind the Ottawa bench without a playoff appearance.

Smith and Hiller spent four seasons together in Toronto as assistants on Mike Babcock’s staff.

The Kings (23-15-10) hold the first wildcard spot in the Western Conference with 56 points, but are only four points from falling out. They are 3-8-6 in their last 17 games.

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