Former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who amassed around 200 regular season wins with four NFL teams and was known for his brand of smash-mouth football known as “Martyball”, has died at the age of 77.
Schottenheimer’s regular season success did not translate to the playoffs, where his teams often fell short, but he was the eighth-winningest coach in NFL history going 200-121-1 over 21 seasons at the helm of teams such as the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington, and the Chargers.
Schottenheimer was 44-27 with the Cleveland from 1984-88, 101-58-1 with Kansas City from 1989-98; 8-8 with Washington in 2001 and 47-33 with the Chargers from 2002-06.
Schottenheimer posted just a 5-13 record in the postseason despite his teams winning 10 or more games 11 times, including a superstar Chargers team back in 2006 that collected a 14-2 record and the top seed in the AFC.
Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014 and was moved to hospice care on January 30th.
Schottenheimer’s final game came in 2007 when his powerful Chargers imploded with mistakes to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots during a home divisional game, losing 24-21. Schottenheimer was fired by owner Dean Spanos a month later due to a personality clash between the coach and strong-willed general manager A.J. Smith.
“When Marty arrived in 1989, he reinvigorated what was then a struggling franchise and quickly turned the Chiefs into a consistent winner,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. “Marty’s teams made Chiefs football a proud part of Kansas City’s identity once again, and the team’s resurgence forged a powerful bond with a new generation of fans who created the legendary home-field advantage at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Marty will always hold a special place in the history of the Chiefs, and he will be dearly missed by all of us who were blessed to call him a friend.”
“I never went into a game with Marty as coach feeling like I wasn’t fully prepared to win,” Hall of Famer and former Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson said. “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.”
Schottenheimer also played football at Pitt prior to a six-year career playing in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills and the Patriots.