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Former NFL Coach Marty Schottenheimer Dies at Age 77 from Alzheimer's

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2021

San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schotenheimer patrols the practice field at the teams' training camp Tuesday Aug. 16, 2005 in San Diego. Schottenheimer and the Chargers won 12 games in 2004 and made the playoffs but are looking for a deeper run in 2005. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
LENNY IGNELZI/Associated Press

Former NFL head coach and linebacker Marty Schottenheimer died Monday at the age of 77. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014.

Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer shared the announcement from Schottenheimer's family with comments from his daughter, Kristen:

Scott Fowler @scott_fowler

RIP to Marty Schottenheimer and prayers to his family. Schottenheimer died Monday at age 77; he was a longtime resident of Charlotte and a legendary NFL coach. From his family: https://t.co/VZqtKjmNnT

Schottenheimer was moved to a hospice care facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 30, per ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

The Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, native was an AFL and NFL linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and Boston Patriots from 1965 to 1970 before later serving as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Football Team and San Diego Chargers.

Schottenheimer is best known for his 21 seasons as an NFL head coach. He posted an impressive 200-126-1 regular-season record during that time and led his team to the playoffs on 13 occasions.

Although a Schottenheimer-coached team never reached the Super Bowl, he did guide the Browns to two AFC Championship Games and the Chiefs to one AFC Championship Game.

His longest stint as an NFL head coach was in KC from 1989 to 1998. He went 101-58-1 in the regular season and ranks second on the team's all-time coaching wins list behind only Hall of Famer Hank Stram.

The end of Schottenheimer's NFL head coaching career was somewhat controversial. He led the Chargers to a 14-2 record in 2006, but after losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round, he was fired and never coached again at the NFL level.

He did spend one season as a head coach in the short-lived United Football League in 2011, leading the Virginia Destroyers to a championship.

Before getting into coaching, Schottenheimer appeared in 79 career regular-season games in the AFL and NFL as a linebacker.

After he starred at the University of Pittsburgh, the Bills selected him in the seventh round of the 1965 AFL draft.

Schottenheimer was an AFL All-Star in 1965 and helped lead the Bills to an AFL championship in his rookie season. While he started only 11 games during his career, he was a special teams standout and registered six interceptions in six seasons.

Schottenheimer also held various coaching roles for the the New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Browns before getting his first break as an NFL head coach with Cleveland in 1984.