Marty Schottenheimer, the NFL coach whose 200-win career was marked by brilliant success in the regular season and tragic defeats in the playoffs, died on Monday, The Washington Times reported.
The 77-year old succumbed to complications from Alzheimer’s at home in North Carolina, his family confirmed.
Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and had recently entered hospice care. He died in Charlotte surrounded by his family.
Born in Pennsylvania, Schottenheimer played in the AFL as a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills in the 1960s, winning an AFL Championship in 1965, and went on to the Patriots before embarking on his coaching career, which began in earnest in 1984 with his promotion to Browns head coach.
Over the course of his 21 years as a head coach, Schottenheimer achieved a historic regular season record of 200-126-1, with a winning percentage of .613. He is one of just eight head coaches to win 200 games in NFL history.
He achieved records of 44-27 with the Cleveland Browns from 1984-88, 101-58-1 with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1989-98, 8-8 with the Washington Redskins in 2001, and 47-33 with the San Diego Chargers from 2002-06.
But he never made it to the Super Bowl, despite making it 13 times to the playoffs and three times to the AFC Championship game, winning just five out of 18 postseason games. He has more wins than any coach without a Super Bowl title or NFL championship.
Brilliant success, setbacks
Among his most bewildering setbacks, his Browns suffered devastating, consecutive AFC losses to the Denver Broncos, led by quarterback John Elway, in 1986 and 1987. Elway tied the first of these games with just seconds remaining with a legendary 98-yard drive, and the Browns lost in overtime.
Schottenheimer led the Chiefs in one more AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills in 1993.
The final regular season of his career in 2006 was his best, with a record of 14-2 with the Chargers, but he lost in the playoffs to the Patriots. Schottenheimer was recognized in 2004 as the NFL’s Coach of the Year for his 12-4 season with the Chargers.
“I think the worst thing anyone can do is spend time worrying about something they missed out on,” Schottenheimer once said. “Disappointment? Sure. But I never let it consume me. It’s been a great journey.”
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Pat, his daughter Kristen, his son Brian, who is also an NFL coach, and his four grandchildren.