The Los Angeles Chargers announced on Thursday that former running back LaDainian Tomlinson is joining the team as a special assistant to owner Dean Spanos, a move that has been in the works for a month.
Tomlinson’s role includes helping to expand the organization’s community outreach as the team he starred for transitions from San Diego to Los Angeles. The team feels that Tomlinson’s long and storied history with the team gives him a unique perspective, allowing him to continue building the Chargers’ fan base in their new home.
“L.T. is one of the most beloved and iconic Chargers of all time,” Spanos said in a statement. “His active involvement in our fight for Los Angeles is vital in helping us determine how we can best play a worthwhile role in the many neighborhoods that make up our new home. He represents the very best of what it means to be a Charger on the field and in the community.”
Tomlinson will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer after a stellar career in which he set 28 franchise records in nine years for the Chargers. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in all but his last season in San Diego, and set a league record with 28 rushing touchdowns in 2006.
“I spent the most memorable and exciting years of my career as a Charger,” Tomlinson said in the statement. “Joining the franchise as it makes the move to Los Angeles, and helping to rally new and familiar Chargers fans alike, is an honor and a privilege. I’m looking forward to working alongside the Spanos family once again.”
In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram after the team announced its move to Los Angeles, Tomlinson offered a “silver lining” to Chargers fans in San Diego.
“You still have the opportunity to support your team,” he said. “You know, they’re only an hour and a half up the coast.”
His support of the team’s move angered some fans in San Diego, but Chargers hope this hire helps them cultivate new ones in their new home.
Tomlinson will continue to appear as an analyst on the Los Angeles based NFL Network.