Marty Schottenheimer, Former NFL coach, Dies at 77

by Thad Mitchell

Longtime National Football League coach Marty Schottenheimer passed away late Monday evening.

The 77-year-old former player, coach and head coach was suffering from Alzheimer’s for quite some time. He was diagnosed with the deadly disease seven years ago in 2014 and has had a long battle with it ever since.

ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen says Schottenheimer passed away peacefully with his family at his side. He shared the tough news on Tuesday of the coach’s passing on social media.

“Legendary NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, 77, peacefully passed away on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina,” he says in the tweet. “Schottenheimer has been battling Alzheimer’s since 2014.”

Marty Schottenheimer had Profound Affect on Today’s Game

Schottenheimer was indeed a legend in the NFL, having a profound effect on how the game is still played today. His offense, people refer to as “Marty Ball,” is still very much in use by NFL teams in the present day. The concept of Marty Ball is a physical running game, a ball-control offense and stout defense that wins at the line of scrimmage. His “defense wins championship” and “three yards and a cloud of dust” philosophy has been reproduced by countless professional football coaches.

After playing linebacker in the NFL for five years, Schottenheimer got into coaching in 1974. He initially took a position with the Portland Storm, a World Football league franchise. The coach made his way to the NFL in 1975, becoming the linebackers coach for the New York Giants. He took his first defensive coordinator position a few years later with the Giants.

Schottenheimer would earn his first head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns in 1984. Leaving the Browns in 1988, he began his most successful head coaching tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989. He would also serve as head coach of the Washington Football Team (then the “Redskins”) and the San Diego Chargers.

His list of accolades are many and rival that of other great NFL coaches. He is one of only eight NFL coaches to ever achieve 200 wins. With a career winning percentage of .596, his is expected to receive consideration for induction in the NFL Hall of Fame in the future.