Former Washington head coach Marty Schottenheimer dies at 77

Marty Schottenheimer talks with Philip Rivers

Former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who spent one season in Washington as part of a 21-year coaching career, died Monday at his home in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was 77 years old.

Schottenheimer last coached in 2006, when he led the San Diego Chargers to a 14-win season before losing to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the divisional round. He then moved to North Carolina to spend time with his family. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, Schottenheimer spent the last few years away from the public eye before being put in hospice care in January.

With a career record of 200-126-1, Schottenheimer ranks eighth in NFL history for most regular-season wins by a head coach. He spent five seasons with the Cleveland Browns (44-27), 10 with the Kansas City Chiefs (101-58-1), one in Washington (8-8) and five in San Diego (47-33).

“We were terribly saddened to hear the news of the passing of Marty Schottenheimer,” Washington owner Dan Snyder and his wife Tanya said in a statement. “Marty was a great man who was passionate about his work and truly loved the game of football. He will be remembered as a family man of high character who treated everyone around him with kindness and compassion. On behalf of the entire Washington Football Team we pass along our prayers and deepest sympathies and condolences to Pat, Kristen, Brian and the entire Schottenheimer family during this time.”

Schottenheimer originally signed a four-year deal with Washington in 2001 but was let go after one season. He was replaced by Steve Spurrier, who lasted two seasons in D.C. before the team dipped back into the coaching market.


Known for his shortcomings in the playoffs, Schottenheimer never advanced to a Super Bowl despite compiling 15 winning seasons and five with 12 wins or more. He lost to John Elway and the Denver Broncos in consecutive AFC Championships while with the Browns in 1987-88 and the Buffalo Bills beat him and the Chiefs in the 1994 AFC Championship.

Schottenheimer’s legacy will live on through his coaching tree, which includes Bruce Arians, Mike McCarthy, Bill Cowher, Herm Edwards, Tony Dungy, Art Shell and Tony Sparano. His son, Brian, spent the last three seasons as offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks before joining the Jacksonville Jaguars as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Urban Meyer.