Otago Daily Times

8thmost successful coach in NFL history


MARTY SCHOTTENHE­IMER, as head coach, led the San Diego Chargers to their best NFL record for a regular season and a pair of AFC West titles in his fiveyear tenure with the team.

He died on February 8 aged 77.

Across 21 seasons, Schottenhe­imer amassed 200 regularsea­son wins and a .613 winning percentage with four franchises, starting with the Cleveland Browns in 1984. He is the eighthmost successful coach in NFL history.

His final coaching job came with San Diego, where the late John Butler brought him to replace Mike Riley in 2002.

Schottenhe­imer’s five Chargers teams combined for a .588 win rate and reached the playoffs twice, losing their opener each time.

He was named NFL Coach of the Year for 2004 by Associated Press after leading the Chargers to their first postseason since 1995. The 2006 team defined Schottenhe­imer’s San Diego legacy going 142 and earning the AFC’s top playoff seed and a firstround bye.

The performanc­e didn’t translate into Schottenhe­imer reaching his first Super Bowl in 13 postseason visits, as San Diego lost to the New England Patriots, 2421, as a fivepoint favourite in Mission Valley.

Martin Edward Schottenhe­imer was born on September 23, 1943 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvan­ia. In 1965, he played six AFL seasons as a linebacker with the Buffalo Bills and Boston Patriots.

His coaching began in 1974 with the Portland Storm of the WFL. He went to the NFL the next year as assistant coach with the New York Giants.

Named head coach of the Browns midway through the 1984 season, he posted a .620 win rate across four and ahalf seasons and won three AFC Central titles. He led Cleveland to the AFC Championsh­ip Game twice, only to suffer defeats to John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

In 1989, Schottenhe­imer took over the Kansas Chiefs, who won 63.4% of their games in 10 years under him. He was unable to reach the Super Bowl, going 37 in the postseason.

After he worked in TV for two years, Washington owner Daniel Snyder signed him to a multiyear deal, then fired him after his first team went 88.

Including a 02 record with the Chargers, Schottenhe­imer’s teams went 513 in the playoffs. The 2006 Chargers provided one of the more entertaini­ng seasons in the franchise’s history. Led by Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson the Chargers scored an NFLbest 30.8 points per game and got a leaguehigh total of sacks from their defence.

 ?? PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES ?? Marty Schottenhe­imer
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES Marty Schottenhe­imer

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