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Marty Schottenheimer, legendary NFL coach, dies at 77

Longtime NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer was placed into hospice care Jan. 30 and died Monday after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. File Photo by Earl S. Cryer/UPI
Longtime NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer was placed into hospice care Jan. 30 and died Monday after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. File Photo by Earl S. Cryer/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Marty Schottenheimer, an NFL icon who won 200 games as a head coach, has died after a battle with Alzheimer's disease, his family said Tuesday. He was 77.

The Schottenheimer family said in a statement that the former coach died Monday in Charlotte, N.C. He had battled Alzheimer's since 2014 and was moved into hospice care Jan. 30.

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"Marty was a tremendous leader of men and a man of great principle -- the love and admiration his former players have for him to this day speak volumes," Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos said in statement.

"You couldn't outwork him. You couldn't out-prepare him. And you certainly always knew exactly where you stood with him."

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Schottenheimer was born in Canonsburg, Pa. He attended Fort Cherry High School in McDonald, Pa., and played football at the University of Pittsburgh.

The former linebacker was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the fourth round of the 1965 NFL Draft and by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of the 1965 AFL Draft.

Schottenheimer spent the next four seasons with the Bills. He then played for the Boston Patriots and spent time in the World Football League in 1974 as a player/coach for the Portland Storm.

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He entered the NFL coaching ranks in 1975 as a linebackers coach for the New York Giants. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1977.

Schottenheimer served as linebackers coach again in 1978 and 1979 for the Detroit Lions. He then became defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns from 1980 through 1984 before he was promoted to head coach.

Schottenheimer spent five seasons as coach of the Browns before he was hired as the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. He went on to post a 101-58-1 record in 10 seasons with Kansas City.

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He returned to the NFL in 2001 to coach Washington, but was fired after one season. Schottenheimer spent the next five seasons with the San Diego Chargers, posting a 47-33 record. He was fired in 2007.

Schottenheimer went 0-2 in the playoffs during his tenure with San Diego, despite the franchise having a prolific offense and defense and several All-Pro players on its roster. His overall record in the postseason was 5-13.

He won at least 10 regular-season games 11 times and had a 200-126-1 overall record in 21 seasons as an NFL head coach.

"As a head coach, he led the organization to four playoff appearances and three divisional titles, but it was his tough, hard-nosed, never give up the fight attitude the team embodied that endeared him to Browns fans and often led to thrilling victories," the Browns said in a news release.

"His impact on the game of football was not only felt in Northeast Ohio, but across the entire NFL.

Schottenheimer's 200 wins rank No. 8 on the all-time list. He never made it to the Super Bowl as a player or coach.

"Marty will always hold a special place in the history of the Chiefs, and he will be dearly missed by all of us who were blessed to call him a friend," Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said in a news release.

Schottenheimer is survived by his wife, Pat, daughter Kristen and son Brian. He also had four grandchildren. The family will hold a private service and have a memorial service to celebrate his life later.

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New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel watches the Detroit Lions defeat his team, the New York Giants, at in East Rutherford, N.J., on November 19, 2000. The former Super Bowl-winning coach died on June 8 at the age of 71. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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