Chargers’ Lynn finishes degree, to walk at UNLV

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COSTA MESA, Calif. — Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn will finish something he started nearly three decades earlier — his college education.

Lynn finished just six hours short of achieving that goal at Texas Tech in 1992 as an exercise sports science major. On Saturday in Las Vegas, he will walk down the aisle to receive his bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary studies from UNLV.

In attendance to witness the event will be Lynn’s mother, Betty Jackson; his daughter, Danielle Lynn; Chargers chairman Dean Spanos; and Spanos’ wife, Susie. The Spanos family provided its private jet so Lynn could make the graduation ceremony this weekend.

Lynn will miss the final two days of rookie minicamp to attend.

“I just wanted my papers,” Lynn said. “Mail me my damn diploma, I give it to my mom and I’m done.

“When I told my counselor, when I told her what my plans were, she’d just assumed that I was walking the whole time. I never assumed I was walking. The disappointment on her face when I told her I wasn’t coming, it was tough. I thought about it. She made me rethink it. I decided to walk, because if it could inspire one person, then it’s worth it.”

Lynn said the seed of his plan to finish school was planted in 2014 while he served as a running backs coach for the New York Jets. Good friend and Jets team chaplain Dave Szott told Lynn how he went back to earn his college degree 15 years after he had first attended college. He convinced Lynn to do the same.

Lynn said he did his research to find the right school and the right time, ultimately starting his coursework soon after the Chargers hired him as coach in January 2017. He completed his studies online a year later.

Now that he has completed his studies, Lynn said he won’t have to receive any more ribbing from his kids. Lynn’s daughter, Danielle, graduated from the University of Oklahoma and will receive her master’s in business administration from the University of North Texas next week.

Lynn’s son, D’Anton, an assistant defensive backs coach for the Houston Texans, graduated from Penn State.

Lynn earned a job out of college as an undrafted rookie. He spent six seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers, winning back-to-back Super Bowls with the Broncos.

After his playing career was over in 1999, Lynn immediately went into coaching and has been working in some capacity as a coach in the NFL ever since.

“Football has always been my No. 1 priority,” Lynn said. “Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s bad. But I chose football over education, and I kind of did that a few years later when I had a chance to go back; I chose football again over education.

“And so at this time, I thought at some point, no more excuses — just go back and get it done.”

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