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Marty Schottenheimer, NFL coach with 200 wins, dies at 77

Marty Schottenheimer s NFL coaching career was as remarkable as it was flummoxing.

There were 200 regular-season wins, the eighth most in NFL history. There were a mystifying number of playoff losses, some so epic they had nicknames: The Drive and The Fumble.

Always there was Martyball, the conservative, smash-mouth approach that featured a strong running game and hard-nosed defense.

Schottenheimer died Monday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, his family said through former Kansas City Chiefs publicist Bob Moore. He was 77. Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014 and moved to a hospice Jan. 30.

Schottenheimer coached Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego and went 200-126-1 in 21 seasons.

Schottenheimer considered himself a teacher and called the NFL “a people business.”

“The best coach I ever had,” Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson said in a statement. “I never went into a game with Marty as coach feeling like I wasn’t fully prepared to win. … I considered him a true All-American man.”

Winning during the regular season was never a problem. Schottenheimer s teams won 10 or more games 11 times, including a glistening 14-2 record with the Chargers in 2006 that earned them the AFC’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

It’s what happened in January that haunted Schottenheimer, who was just 5-13 in the postseason.

His playoff demons followed him to the end of his career.

Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt called Schottenheimer a “passionate leader who cared deeply for his players and coaches, and his influence on the game can still be seen today on a number of coaching staffs around the league.”

Schottenheimer was 44-27 with Cleveland from 1984-88; 101-58-1 with Kansas City from 1989-98; 8-8 with Washington in 2001; and 47-33 with San Diego from 2002-06.

When Schottenheimer was hired by the Chiefs in 1989, the Raiders had won 21 of the previous 30 games between the teams. During the next 10 seasons, Schottenheimer emphasized Raider Week and his Chiefs went 18-3 against the Silver and Black, including a win in the 1991 wild-card round, the first postseason game played at Arrowhead Stadium.

His Browns twice came tantalizingly close to earning Super Bowl berths, only to have them ripped away by “The Drive” and “The Fumble” in consecutive AFC title games against nemesis John Elway and the Broncos.

In the 1986 AFC championship game at Cleveland, Elway led the Broncos 98 yards in 15 plays to tie the game on a 5-yard pass to Mark Jackson with 37 seconds left in regulation. Denver won in overtime on Rich Karlis 33-yard field goal.

A year later, with the Browns trailing the Broncos 38-31 with 1:12 left at Denver, Earnest Byner fumbled on the Broncos 1-yard line. The Broncos won 38 33 after taking an intentional safety.

He is survived by his wife, Pat, and children Brian and Kristin. Brian Schottenheimer was fired as Seattle s offensive coordinator last month and then hired by new Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer as passing game coordinator-quarterbacks coach.

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