The longtime NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who came agonizingly close to reaching the Super Bowl many times only to fall short, has passed away today at the age of 77.
The sportsman was under care in Charlotte as he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014. He also moved to a hospice last month, North Carolina. His family informed the news through Bob Moore, former Kansas City Chiefs publicist, according to the Associated Press.
Schottenheimer’s popularity was rooted in “Martyball,” a traditional approach that included a good passing game and a rugged defense. He cherished the mantra, “One play at a time,” which he would screw his teammates in the pre-kickoff huddle.
It was never a challenge to succeed in the regular season. Schottenheimer’s teams won 10 or more games 11 times, including a 14-2 record with the Chargers in 2006 that secured them No. 1 AFC seed in the playoffs.
A month later, when he fired Schottenheimer, owner Dean Spanos shocked the NFL, mainly due to an ego dispute between the coach and strong-willed general manager AJ Smith.