Some sad news for the football world on Tuesday as former longtime NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer died Monday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, his family said through Bob Moore, a former Kansas City Chiefs publicist. Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014. He was moved to a hospice on Jan. 30.
Schottenheimer was the eighth-winningest coach in NFL history. He went 200-126-1 in 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Football Team and San Diego Chargers. On the heels of the Schottenheimer news breaking Tuesday morning, former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher took to Twitter with some touching words about his coaching mentor.
“It’s hard to put into words what Marty Schottenheimer meant to me,” Cowher wrote in statement he shared on Twitter. “I played for him, I coached for him. He mentored me from the moment I met him. He was an amazing coach, teacher, leader, and most importantly, my friend. My condolences to Pat, Kristen and Brian. I will always be indebted for the guidance and support he provided. The NFL lost a legend, but heaven has been blessed with a leader. Marty, you always said, ‘There’s a gleam, men!’ that gleam is, and always was, YOU! Rest In Peace, Coach. I LOVE YOU. May your spirit live on forever.”
Schottenheimer was defensive coordinator of the Browns when Cowher played linebacker for the team in 1980–1982. After Cowher’s football career ended, Schottenheimer, who had become the Browns head coach in 1984, hired his former player as special teams coordinator in 1985. Cowher was promoted to defensive backs coach in 1987.
After Schottenheimer resigned has the Browns head coach in 1988, the Chiefs hired him to be their head coach in 1989. Schottenheimer quickly hired Cowher to be his defensive coordinator and he held the job until the Steelers hired him to be their new head coach in 1992.
A Canonsburg native, Schottenheimer attended Fort Cherry High School and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned three varsity letters.