Marty Schottenheimer, NFL coaching legend, dies at 77

The NFL legend died on Monday at the age of 77 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. 

Marty Schottenheimer, who was a head coach in the NFL for over two decade and was a part of the game even longer, had died.

Schottenheimer had been battling Alzheimer’s since for the last six years, and went into hospice care over the weekend.

“Legendary NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, 77, peacefully passed away with family at his
side on Monday, February 8, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina,” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Tuesday.

According to Mortensen, the family is expected to release more information about a celebration of life for Schottenheimer.

“A private service will be held by his family, and a memorial service to celebrate his life will be
conducted at a later date, according to the Schottenheimer family. A full obituary will be
forthcoming over the next few days at which time condolences for the family and donations in Marty Schottenheimer’s name may be made to a list of his favored charities.”

In Schottenheimer’s two decade-plus as a head coach in the NFL, he had memorable stints in Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington, and San Diego, winning a total of 205 games in that span.

Schottenheimer was controversially fired twice, once by Washington following an 8-8 season and right on the cusp of what many believed could have been a franchise turnaround. The most infamous and controversial was his firing by San Diego after a 14-2 season that ended in a one-and-done trip to the playoffs. It would remain an open wound for the coach for the rest of his life.

The end of his career in San Diego, and his playoff misfortune, is no doubt a massive part of his legacy, but don’t be so foolish to think that it defines it. Some of the most memorable moments in the last 30 years of football somehow involve Schottenheimer, for better or worse. He was the Browns head coach for two of the most infamous moments in franchise history: The Drive (John Elway’s 99-yard playoff drive in 1986) and The Fumble (Earnest Byner’s goal line fumble that coast the Browns a trip to the Super Bowl in 1987).

He also coached the Chiefs to one of the most impressive playoff upsets ever, beating the Houston Oilers in comeback fashion in the 1993 AFC Divisional round.

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