Cunningham spent two seasons as the head coach of the Chiefs (1999-00), going 16-16. He also served as the defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders (1992-93), defensive coordinator of the Chiefs (1995-98, 2004-08) and defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions (2009-13).
A number of people around the NFL paid their respects to Cunningham on Monday:
Rich Gannon @RichGannon12
So sad to hear of the passing of one of the best coaches in the game, Gunther Cunningham. I went against him & his defense in practice everyday for 4yrs with the KC & it definitely made me a better player. He was intense & took it personally if you had any success vs his unit!
Cunningham began his coaching career in 1969 as a defensive line coach for the Oregon Ducks. After 12 seasons in college with Oregon, Arkansas, Stanford and California and one season coaching in the CFL for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Cunningham shifted to the NFL with the Baltimore Colts in 1982 as a defensive line and linebackers coach.
He spent three seasons with the Colts before serving as the defensive line coach of the San Diego Chargers (1985-90). He also spent one season as linebackers coach for the Raiders (1991). He was then promoted to defensive coordinator (1992-93).
Cunningham was born in Munich, Germany, in 1946 before his family emigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old. He quickly took to football, playing college ball at Oregon as a linebacker and kicker.