Longtime NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer passed away at the age of 77, as ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen tweets. Schottenheimer, who spent 21 years in the league, has been battling Alzheimer’s for the past six years.
Schottenheimer served as a head coach for the Browns, Chiefs, Chargers, and the Washington Football Team. All together, he compiled a regular season record of 200-126-1. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who spent five years under Schottenheimer in San Diego, praised Schottenheimer as the best head coach he ever had.
“I never went into a game with Marty as coach feeling like I wasn’t fully prepared to win,” Tomlinson said (via ESPN.com). “He really wanted you to understand every detail of the game plan..I will remember him more for the life lessons that he taught me.”
Schottenheimer last coached in 2006, leading the Chargers to a 14-2 regular season record. Though his teams never reached the Super Bowl, he was a highly-respected football mind and mentor throughout his career. His coaching tree spawned the likes of Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher, Mike McCarthy, and Bruce Arians, who is fresh off of a dominant championship victory. Meanwhile, his son, Brian Schottenheimer, has been coaching in the league for more than two decades. Just last week, Brian signed on for his latest position with the Jaguars’ staff.