The San Diego Chargers hired Pete Metzelaars to coach the team’s tight ends, the team announced today.
Metzelaars played tight end in the NFL for 16 seasons before transitioning into coaching. A third-round pick by Seattle in 1982 (75th overall), Metzelaars played professionally for the Seahawks (1982-84), Buffalo Bills (1985-94), Carolina Panthers (1995) and Detroit Lions (1996-97). He spent 10 of his 16 pro seasons in Buffalo where he played in four Super Bowls (XXV, XXVI, XXVII and XXVIII). Metzelaars retired after the 1997 season having played in 235 career games, which at the time was the most by a tight end in NFL history, including a stretch of 169 consecutive games from 1984-95. His final career totals included 383 catches for 3,686 yards and 29 touchdowns. Two of the more notable catches during his career were a touchdown catch in Super Bowl XXVI on Jan. 26, 1992 against the Washington Redskins and in 1995 he caught the first touchdown pass in Carolina Panthers’ franchise history. Metzelaars’ career honors included an all-rookie selection with Seattle in 1982 along with being named to Buffalo’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 2009. He was also selected as a Pro Bowl alternate three times during his career.
Metzelaars moved into coaching immediately after retiring as a player, taking over as the offensive coordinator at Charlotte Christian School from 1998-02. In 2003, he moved on to Wingate (N.C.) University, as an offensive assistant coach, while also completing a training camp internship with the Indianapolis Colts and an offseason stint with NFL Europe’s Barcelona Dragons. A year later in 2004, Metzelaars joined the Colts full-time as an offensive quality control coach and spent eight seasons there, including four in quality control (2004-07), two as assistant offensive line coach (2008-09) and two as the offensive line coach (2010-11). In 2010, his first season overseeing the offensive line in Indianapolis, the Colts allowed just 16 sacks, tied for the fewest in the NFL, despite starting four different combinations along their line during the season. Their ratio of just one sack allowed for every 43.4 pass attempts was the second-best in franchise history. Metzelaars tenure in Indianapolis ended in 2011 and he spent the 2012 season coaching tight ends for the Buffalo Bills.
A native of Three Rivers, Michigan, Metzelaars prepped at Portage (Mich.) Central High School. He played collegiately at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, competing on an undefeated football team, while also helping lead the Little Giants’ basketball team to a NCAA Division-III national championship. Metzelaars earned a degree in economics at Wabash. He is a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame and in 2011, he was inducted into the Academic All-American Hall of Fame.
Metzelaars, (53), and his wife, Barbara, have two sons: Anthony and Jonathan.