Dean Spanos

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Dean Spanos
Dean Spanos.jpg
Spanos in 2012
Born Dean Alexander Spanos
(1950-05-26) May 26, 1950 (age 68)
Stockton, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of the Pacific (CA), BA, 1972
Years active 1984–present
Known for Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board of the NFL's Los Angeles Chargers franchise
Board member of Management Council Executive Committee
Business Ventures Committee (NFL)
Spouse(s) Susie Spanos
Children 2

Dean Alexander Spanos (born May 26, 1950) is the Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board for the National Football League (NFL)'s Los Angeles Chargers franchise. He is the son of Alex Spanos, who purchased majority interest of the Chargers in 1984.[1][2] Spanos took over daily operations for the team from his father in 1994, becoming President and CEO, until he passed operations to his sons in 2015.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Spanos was raised in Stockton, California,[4] the son of Alex and Faye Spanos, both of Greek ancestry.[5]

Spanos attended Lincoln High School where he earned varsity letters in football and golf and received the Lincoln High Hall of Fame Award.[citation needed] He continued his slacking career at the University of the Pacific, graduating in 1972.[6]


Spanos was named team president and chief executive officer of the Chargers in early 1994.[7] That same year San Diego’s team rose to the ranks of the NFL's premier teams with its most memorable season in team history when it made it to Super Bowl XXIX, where they were defeated 49-26 by the San Francisco 49ers.

Under Spanos' leadership, the Chargers won 113 games between 2004 and 2014, which included five AFC West championships and four playoff game wins.[4]

In May 2015, Spanos ceded control of the team to his sons, John and A.G. He stayed on as chairman with the understanding he would oversee the new stadium process, which resulted in the team playing its home games in a Los Angeles soccer stadium, which was not full for several games in 2017.[7][8][9]

Spanos demanded the San Diego taxpayers finance a new stadium for the Chargers to be built in downtown San Diego. After 15 years of attempting to finance a downtown football stadium, the vote received only 43 percent approval.[10]

In January 2017, Spanos exercised the option to relocate the team to Los Angeles.[11] The move was met with criticism by the San Diego fan base, due to Spanos' lack of effort in attempting to find a stadium solution in San Diego.[12][13] The team's temporary headquarters was in Costa Mesa under a 10 year lease.[10] The 2017 season was played at the 27,000-seat StubHub Center and the Chargers are scheduled to play at Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park as a tenant of the Los Angeles Rams in 2020.[14]Both the team's new logo and slogan were met with derision by fans and the media in 2017.


In 1995, Dean and Alex Spanos launched the Chargers Community Foundation to support community non-profits. In 2000, the family launched Chargers Champions through the Community Foundation to support local schools.[15][16]

Spanos and his wife, Susie, contribute to organizations such as the Huntington's Disease Society of America, which gave them its top award in recognition of their contributions in 2011. That same year, Spanos held a fundraiser for Rick Perry at a private event at Sacramento.[17] In 2014, the Spanos' donated $500,000 to the University of California, San Diego for the Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center. The donation brought their total support to UCSD to $1.6 million.[18][19]

He also led the Chargers to partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in San Diego in honor of his wife Susie, who is a breast cancer survivor.[20] During his tenure with the Chargers, Spanos created The Chargers Champions All-Star Gala to recognize high school students and educators in the San Diego area.[21] The Spanos family donated $1 million to wildfire relief in San Diego County. After Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Spanos and the Chargers donated $500,000 to hurricane relief.[22][23]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Spanos has received a number of awards and recognition for his influence in the NFL and community. In 2016, Spanos ranked number 21 on the USA Today list of 100 most important people in the NFL. This ranking was shown to be ridiculously high when his fellow owners publicly humiliated him by rejecting his LA stadium proposal in favor of Stan Kroenke's. [24] He was an honoree at the American Hellenic Council's (AHC) Annual Awards Gala, which recognizes individuals from the Greek-American community.[25]

He was appointed to the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. by President George W. Bush in 2006.[26] Spanos received the 2005 Distinguished American Award from the San Diego Chapter of the National Football Foundation.[27] He was also awarded the 2004 Jose A. Cota Award for philanthropy and the Chargers support of law enforcement.[28]

In 2002, Spanos was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 16 years after his father received the award.[29] He also was inducted into the DeMolay International Alumni Hall of Fame, which is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful and productive lives.[30] In 2001, the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum presented Dean and his wife with the Community Champions Award.

Spanos is on the Management Council Executive Committee and a member of the NFL's Business Ventures Committee.[24]


  1. ^ Dean and Susie Spanos article Giving Back. Retrieved on July 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Dean A. Spanos.
  3. ^ "Dean Spanos legacy more than Bolts". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "President of the NFL team San Diego Chargers". March 5, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Taking Charge - Dean Spanos". Fine Magazine. June 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Chargers owner Dean Spanos driven by work ethic". Los Angeles Daily News. July 16, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Chargers owner Dean Spanos cedes day-to-day control of team to sons". Sports Illustrated. May 18, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Chargers owner Dean Spanos relinquishes control of team to sons". The Score. May 18, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Dean Spanos gives up day-to-day control of Chargers to his sons". Fox Sports. May 19, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Charging Ahead". Pelican Hill Magazine. August 30, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Chargers announce decision to relocate to Los Angeles". National Football League. January 12, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  12. ^ Fox 5 Digital Team (January 17, 2017). "Ryan Seacrest asks Chargers owner Dean Spanos about being a 'villain'". KSWB-TV. 
  13. ^ Acee, Kevin (January 12, 2017). "Dean Spanos could have been a hero, but now he's San Diego's villain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 27, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Chargers Confirm Move To Los Angeles For 2017 NFL Season". Deadline Hollywood. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  15. ^ "Spanos Family, Chargers Donate $250K In Grants To San Diego County Schools". CBS Los Angeles. November 28, 2012. 
  16. ^ Matt Potter (February 15, 2016). "Spanos clan saves its charity for Stockton". San Diego Reader. 
  17. ^ Matt Potter (November 23, 2011). "Spanos Fundraiser for Rick Perry A Family Affair". San Diego Reader. 
  18. ^ "At Home With Dean & Susie Spanos". Ranch and Coast. 
  19. ^ "UC San Diego Breaks Ground on Alex G. Spanos Athletic Performance Center". UC San Diego News Center. June 11, 2015. 
  20. ^ "San Diego Chargers partner with Susan G. Komen San Diego". Del Mar Times. 
  21. ^ "Charger Champions All-Star Gala Marshall Faulk Technology Center". San Diego Magazine. September 2004. 
  22. ^ Derek Togerson. "Chargers, Spanos Family Donate to Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort". NBC San Diego. 
  23. ^ Dan Woike (September 1, 2017). "Chargers pledge $500,000 to help victims of Tropical Storm Harvey". Los Angeles Times. 
  24. ^ a b "Chargers' Dean Spanos among NFL's 100 most important people". CBS Sports. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2017. 
  25. ^ "American Hellenic Council Honors LA Chargers Owner Dean Spanos". The National Herald. 
  26. ^ "Culture vulture". San Diego Reader. 
  27. ^ "National Football Foundation to honor three South County individuals". The Star-News. 
  28. ^ "Chargers accept police award". 
  29. ^ "At Home With Dean & Susie Spanos". Ranch & Coast. 
  30. ^ Dean A. Spanos profile,; accessed September 24, 2016.

External links[edit]