KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marty Schottenheimer, former coach and member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame, has died at age 77. Schottenheimer moved to a hospice facility near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina on January 30, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011.
“As a family we are surrounding him with love,” his wife Pat Schottenheimer stated when his move to hospice was announced, “and are soaking up the prayers and support from all those he impacted through his incredible life. In the way he taught us all, we are putting one foot in front of the other… one play at a time.”
The death was first reported on Twitter.
Schottenheimer was the mastermind behind the great Chiefs teams of the 1990s, posting a 101-58-1 record in 10 seasons leading Kansas City. He went to the playoffs seven times with the Chiefs, including a run of six consecutive appearances between 1990-1995.
He got as far as the AFC Championship Game in 1993, ultimately losing to the Buffalo Bills after knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Oilers. He had six seasons of double-digit victories, including two seasons where the Chiefs won 13 games, 1995 and 1997.
In addition to coaching the Chiefs, Schottenheimer was a head coach for the Cleveland Browns, then spent time with the Washington Football Team and San Diego Chargers after he left Kansas City. He was 200-126-1 in 21 seasons as a head coach, with a 5-13 record in the playoffs.
He’s one of only five coaches to lead three different franchises to the playoffs. That list includes Chuck Knox, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves and Dick Vermeil.
Schottenheimer played professionally before breaking into coaching. Drafted to both the NFL and AFL as a linebacker, Schottenheimer opted to play in the AFL for the Buffalo Bills and won an AFL Championship with the team in 1965.
While diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011, his condition wasn’t publicly revealed until 2016. He spoke to an ESPN reporter about what was life was like at the time.
“I’m sitting here looking at a lake and it’s a spectacular setting. Pat and I, the Lord’s blessed us. I mean, there’s no other way I can identify it,” Schottenheimer told Tony Grossi at his home in Lake Norman, North Carolina.
Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt released in part this statement on Schottenheimer’s death:
Our family and the entire Chiefs Kingdom mourn the loss of Marty Schottenheimer, and our prayers and heartfelt condolences are with his wonderful wife Pat and the entire Schottenheimer family today. Marty will rightfully be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, but his legacy extends far beyond his winning percentage. 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.Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt