Marty Schottenheimer — who ended his coaching career with 200 wins — was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease back in 2014

By Jason Duaine Hahn
February 09, 2021 01:33 PM
Marty Schottenheimer
Stephen Dunn/Getty
| Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty

Marty Schottenheimer — one of the winningest coaches in NFL history — died on Monday at age 77 after a seven-year battle with Alzheimer's disease, his family announced.

Schottenheimer helmed four NFL teams during his two-decade career as a head coach and earned a total of 200 wins, making him one of only eight professional football coaches to ever reach the milestone. Most of his success came during his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs, the team he coached for 10 seasons following his first head coaching role with the Cleveland Browns.

Thanks to his incredible 101-58-1 record with the Chiefs, Schottenheimer was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2010, according to CNN.

"Marty will rightfully be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, but his legacy extends far beyond his winning percentage," Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement on Tuesday. "He was a passionate leader who cared deeply for his players and coaches, and his influence on the game can still be seen today on a number of coaching staffs around the league."

Marty Schottenheimer
Credit: David Maxwell/For the Washington Post/Getty

"When Marty arrived in 1989, he reinvigorated what was then a struggling franchise and quickly turned the Chiefs into a consistent winner," Hunt, whose Chiefs appeared in Super Bowl LV on Sunday, recalled. "Marty's teams made Chiefs football a proud part of Kansas City's identity once again, and the team's resurgence forged a powerful bond with a new generation of fans who created the legendary home-field advantage at Arrowhead Stadium."

After leaving the Chiefs, Schottenheimer spent a single season with the Washington Redskins before joining the San Diego Chargers in 2002.

In Southern California, Schottenheimer enjoyed success with quarterback Philip Rivers and running back LaDainian Tomlinson. The Chargers seemed poised to make a deep run in the playoffs in 2005 and 2007 but were eliminated by the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

Schottenheimer was fired from the Chargers in 2006 after leading the team to a 14-2 record. It would be his last heading coach job in the NFL.

"Marty was a tremendous lead of men and a man of great principle — the love and admiration his former players have for him to this day speak volumes," Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in a statement. "You couldn't out-work him. You couldn't out-prepare him."

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Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014, and died of the disease with loved ones "at his side," a statement from the family posted by The Athletic reporter Zac Jackson said.

"We know he is looking down on us from heaven and smiling," his daughter, Kristen, said. "We are so incredibly proud of the man he was and how he lived his life."

Along with Kristen, Schottenheimer is survived by his son, Brian, four grandchildren, and his wife of 54 years, Pat.