The former head coach of the National Football League (NFL) Marty Schottenheimer, who established the “Martyball” style and won 200 regular season games with four teams different, he died at the age of 77.
Schottenheimer died on Monday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to information provided by the family on Tuesday through Bob Moore, a former Kansas City Chiefs publicist.
He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and was transferred to hospice on January 30.
Schottenheimer was the eighth-winning coach in NFL history. He was 200-126-1 in 21 seasons with the Clevelan Browns (44-27), Chiefs (101-58-1), Washington Redskins (8-8) and San Diego Chargers (47-33).
His success was based on “Martyball,” a conservative approach that featured a strong running game and tough defense. He hated the Raiders and loved the “one play at a time” mantra, which he yelled at his players in the pre-kickoff meeting.
During the regular season, Schottenheimer’s teams won 10 or more games 11 times, including a 14-2 record with the Chargers in 2006 that earned them first place in the American Conference (AFC) in the playoffs.
However, he was never successful in the playoffs, with epic and disconcerting losses, and his losing record of 5-13 was something that always haunted him and made his career not even brighter.
Schottenheimer is one of only seven head coaches with 200 regular-season wins in NFL history who joined Don Shula (328), George Halas (318), Bill Belichick (280, active), Tom Landry (250) , Curly Lambeau (226) and Andy Reid (221, active).
All Hall of Famers except Belichick, who leads the New England Patriots and Reid the Chiefs.
In their last game, on January 14, 2007, Schottenheimer’s Chargers, featuring NFL MVP running back LaDainian Tomlinson and a supporting cast of Pro Bowlers, made all kinds of mistakes and lost by 21 -24 a divisional playoff game at home to Tom Brady and the Patriots.
A month later, owner Dean Spanos shocked the NFL when he fired Schottenheimer, due to a personality clash between the coach and stubborn general manager AJ Smith. Schottenheimer and Smith had not spoken for two years.
Following his firing, Schottenheimer moved to North Carolina to spend time with his family and play golf. Schottenheimer never made it to the Super Bowl, neither as a player nor as a coach. He was a backup linebacker for the Buffalo Bills when they lost the 1966 AFL Championship Game to Kansas City, which then played the Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl.
All the organizations to which he belonged and the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, released official statements in which they praised the professional and human figure of Schottenheimer.
While Tomlinson, now in the Hall of Fame, called Schottenheimer “the best coach I’ve ever had.” He is survived by his wife, Pat, two children, Kristin and Brian, and four grandchildren.
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