Longtime NFL coach Mart Schottenheimer — who won 200 games — has died at 77 on Monday, February 8, due to complications from Alzheimer's Disease, it was reported.
Schottenheimer, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014, was moved to a hospice facility near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, on January 30.
Schottenheimer was the eighth-winningest coach in NFL history and was NFL’s Coach of the Year in 2004 after leading the San Diego Charges to a 12-4 record a year after a 4-12 finish. Over his past 21 coaching seasons in the NFL, Schottenheimer was a head coach for the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers.
"Marty will rightfully be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, but his legacy extends far beyond his winning percentage," Clark Hunt, Chiefs chairman, 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."
Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who played under Schottenheimer for five seasons with the Charges, previously told ESPN: "I never went into a game with Marty as coach feeling like I wasn't fully prepared to win. He really wanted you to understand every detail of the game plan. I considered him a true All-American man."
Tomlinson went on to call Schottenheimer a "great father figure" and "a well-rounded human being."
"I was fortunate that my wife and I got to know he and [his wife] Pat beyond the typical player and coach relationship," he added. "He cared more about the man than the athlete. I will remember him more for the life lessons that he taught me."
The respected coach — who posted a 205-139-1 career record — also spent time as a linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 1975 to 1977. His coaching career ended in 2006.
Schottenheimer's success was rooted in "Martyball," which was a conservative approach that emphasized a strong running game and tough defense. He was also known for screaming the mantra: "One play at a time," during the pre-kickoff huddle with his players.
Schottenheimer played six seasons as a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills from 1965-1968 and the Patriots from 1969-1970. His son, Brian, was an offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks until he was let go of by the team after the 2020 season.
The successful NFL coach is survived by his wife, Pat, two children, Kristin and Brian, and four grandchildren.