NFL coaching icon Marty Schottenheimer passed away peacefully yesterday with his family by his side, according to multiple reports.
Schottenheimer had been battling Alzheimer's for a number of years. Just last week, the family had announced that he had been put into hospice care. He was 77 years old.
After a playing career as a tough-as-nails linebacker with the Bills (1965-68) and Patriots (1969-70), Schottenheimer got his start in coaching as the linebackers coach for the Giants in 1975. By '77 he had been promoted to defensive coordinator for a season before landing with the Lions coaching linebackers.
In 1980 his coaching career began to take off. Named the defensive coordinator of the Browns, Schottenheimer remained in that role until 1984, when he was tabbed to take over for Sam Rutigliano midway through the season. The Browns had started 1-7, but finished 4-4 under Schottenheimer's guidance, and that was enough to earn him his first shot as an NFL head coach.
From 1984 until stepping away from the game in 2011, Schottenheimer served as an NFL head coach for the Browns, Chiefs, Redskins, and Chargers (with the exception of a few seasons out of football from 1998-2001).
In his final three seasons in Cleveland he went an impressive 12-4, 10-5, and 10-6. But he's perhaps most well known for his time in Kansas City where he went 101-58 from 1989-1998 including three top finishes in the AFC West.
While leading the Chargers in 2006, Schottenheimer led the team to a 14-2 mark, only to be let go, as a strained relationship with ownership was cited. After that, he went on to work as an analyst for ESPN.
Overall, Schottenheimer went 200-126-1 as an NFL head coach. The 200 win mark is the most for any NFL head coach who has not won a championship.
Schottenheimer's coaching tree is among one of the more impressive in NFL history, with guys like Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards, Bruce Arians, and a host of other well respected coaches belonging to it.
Please join us in praying for the family of coach Schottenheimer during this difficult time.
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