The NFL world is mourning the loss of former head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who passed away on Monday from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. Schottenheimer was diagnosed in 2011 but it was not publicly disclosed until 2016. Last week it was announced that he was being moved into hospice care.
Marty was best known as the coach of the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs, taking those two franchises to the postseason a combined 11 times over the span of 15 seasons. He had the Browns on the cusp of the Super Bowl twice, only to be denied by the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game each time.
In Kansas City, Schottenheimer took the Chiefs to the AFC CG in 1993 with Joe Montana at quarterback and Marcus Allen at running back, but they fell short to the Buffalo Bills. Twice he clinched the #1 seed but both times ended in upset losses in the Divisional Round.
After spending two years with ESPN, Schottenheimer had one season as Washington’s head coach and was still fired after turning an 0-5 start to an 8-8 finish and just narrowly missing the playoffs. That controversial move led to Marty’s final head coaching stint with the San Diego Chargers. He won the AFC West twice, once with Drew Brees and once with Philip Rivers, but the familiar feeling of missed field goals and fluky plays resulted in heartbreaking and immediate playoff exits. San Diego fired Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season and that marked his final NFL game. His 200 regular season wins ranks 7th all-time in league history.
What many may not know is that Schottenheimer was head coach and GM of the Virginia Destroyers in the short-lived United Football League in 2011. The Destroyers went 4-1 in the regular season and won the UFL Championship, finally giving Marty ultimate postseason success at a professional level.
While Schottenheimer himself was unable to reach the Super Bowl (as was the negative reputation for his career), a few of his assistants did make and win it all as head coaches. This includes Bruce Arians, who was Kansas City’s running backs coach from 1989-1992.
As a bit of trivia, we know that his son Brian Schottenheimer was recently the Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator, but as it turned out the final road win of Marty’s career came against the Seahawks in the 2006 season. A late touchdown by Vincent Jackson gave San Diego a 20-17 lead and eventual win, which clinched a first-round bye for the Chargers.
Marty Schottenheimer was 77 years old.