NFL coaching legend Marty Schottenheimer dead at 77

Marty Schottenheimer, who won 200 regular season games with four NFL teams thanks to his “Martyball” brand of smash-mouth football but regularly fell short in the playoffs, has died. He was 77.
Schottenheimer died Monday night, Feb. 8, 2021,  at a hospice in Charlotte, North Carolina, his family said through Bob Moore, former Kansas City Chiefs publicist.
Marty Schottenheimer, who won 200 regular season games with four NFL teams thanks to his “Martyball” brand of smash-mouth football but regularly fell short in the playoffs, has died. He was 77. Schottenheimer died Monday night, Feb. 8, 2021, at a hospice in Charlotte, North Carolina, his family said through Bob Moore, former Kansas City Chiefs publicist.

Credit: Denis Poroy

Credit: Denis Poroy

Had good teams over 21 seasons but never reached the Super Bowl

NFL coaching legend Marty Schottenheimer died Monday after suffering for years from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 77.

Schottenheimer died at a hospice near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, his family said through Bob Moore, a former publicist for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was first diagnosed with the degenerative disease in 2014.

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Schottenheimer was a head coach for 21 seasons in the NFL for several teams, including the Browns, Chiefs, Washington and the Chargers.

He never took a team to the Super Bowl but coached in three AFC Championship Games, twice with the Browns and once with the Chiefs, ESPN reported.

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Schottenheimer’s brand of smash-mouth football became known as “Martyball.” Through the years he had some good teams, winning 200 regular season games but regularly falling short in the playoffs.

His teams advanced to the postseason 13 times, and Schottenheimer retired in 2006 with a career record of 205-139-1. In his final season, he led the Chargers to a 14-2 season but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs.

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Before becoming a coach, he played six seasons as a linebacker with the Buffalo Bills from 1965 to 1968 and with the Patriots from 1969 to 1970, according to ESPN.

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Hall of Fame Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who played five seasons under Schottenheimer, called him “the best coach I ever had.”

“I never went into a game with Marty as coach feeling like I wasn’t fully prepared to win,” Tomlinson said, according to ESPN. “He really wanted you to understand every detail of the game plan. I considered him a true All-American man. He was a great father figure, and I was fortunate that my wife and I got to know he and [his wife] Pat beyond the typical player and coach relationship. He was a well-rounded human being. He cared more about the man than the athlete. I will remember him more for the life lessons that he taught me.”

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Schottenheimer is survived by his wife, Pat, two children, Kristin and Brian, and four grandchildren.

Schottenheimer’s son Brian was recently hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he’ll serve as passing game coordinator in the upcoming season under head coach Urban Meyer.

This is a developing story. Please stay with AJC.com for the latest updates.

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