Days before the Kansas City Chiefs took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55, the organization received heartbreaking news concerning the health status of former head coach Marty Schottenheimer.
Unfortunately for the reigning AFC champions, they just suffered another loss following their 31-9 defeat at the hands of Tom Brady.
And this one will take much longer to recover from.
Marty Schottenheimer dedicated his life to the game of football
From his days as a linebacker at the University of Pittsburgh to becoming a fourth-round NFL draft pick to making the transition to coaching, Marty Schottenheimer always had football in his life.
He landed his first NFL coaching gig with the New York Giants, where he worked with linebackers for two seasons. The Pennsylvania native ascended to defensive coordinator in 1977 before taking his talents to the Detroit Lions.
From 1980-84, Schottenheimer called the defense for the Cleveland Browns. However, after owner Art Modell fired Sam Rutigliano, he got promoted to head coach. The team went 44-27 across five seasons, including double-digit wins in each of Schottenheimer’s final three years at the helm.
Over the next decade, he experienced tremendous success as the man in charge of the Chiefs. Kansas City routinely won double-digit games and made plenty of postseason appearances.
However, although the Chiefs won 63.4% of their regular-season games under Schottenheimer, they posted an ugly 3-7 mark in the playoffs.
He spent one season in Washington before finishing his career with the Chargers. Schottenheimer went 47-33 in five seasons with the AFC West franchise.
In 2010, Schottenheimer received an incredible honor by getting inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately for the longtime NFL coach, his health took an unexpected turn not long after he retired.
The former NFL coach has battled Alzheimer’s disease since 2014
Days before the Chiefs took on the Bucs in the Super Bowl, the franchise received some sad news about Marty Schottenheimer’s well-being.
On Feb. 3, ESPN reported that he was recently moved to a hospice facility near his home in Charlotte, N.C., due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
The former NFL coach got diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease that often causes memory loss, confusion, and dementia back in 2014.
“As a family we are surrounding him with love and are soaking up the prayers and support from all those he impacted through his incredible life,” his wife, Pat, said in a statement on behalf of the Schottenheimer family. “In the way he taught us all, we are putting one foot in front of the other…one play at a time.”
Chiefs suffer heartbreaking loss just days after Super Bowl 55 defeat
Late Monday night, the Chiefs, along with so many other NFL teams and people who knew Marty Schottenheimer, suffered a heartbreaking loss.
The 77-year-old who won 200 regular-season games with four NFL franchises died after his more than half-decade battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Considering how long he spent in the league, it hasn’t been surprising to see so many former teams, players, and coaches expressing their condolences over the loss of the beloved man who brought “Martyball” to the NFL.
The Browns shared a statement via Twitter about the passing of their former head coach.
“The Cleveland Browns are saddened to learn of the passing of Marty Schottenheimer. 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. His impact on the game of football was not only felt in Northeast Ohio but across the entire NFL. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Pat, and his entire family,” the statement read.
In a tweet from their official account, the Chiefs shared a few powerful quotes from various members of the organization.
“Marty was a friend and someone I admired greatly. He was an outstanding mentor to me as a young football coach, and one of the most passionate coaches I’ve ever been around,” said head coach Andy Reid.
Mitch Holthus, who has served as the team’s play-by-play announcer for more almost three decades, delivered a particularly powerful message about the late NFL coach.
“I cherished the time spent with him; I was in awe of him. The way Coach Schottenheimer led, the way he inspired, the way he taught and the way he loved was so impactful.”
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.