Marty Schottenheimer battles Alzheimer’s disease

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Former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer, whose career reached nearly 350 games with four different teams, has been battling Alzheimer’s disease for five years, according to Tony Grossi of

“He’s in the best of health, [but] sometimes he just doesn’t remember everything,” said Pat Schottenheimer, Marty’s wife of 48 years. “He functions extremely well, plays golf several times a week. He’s got that memory lag where he’ll ask you the same question three or four times. . . . He remembers people and faces, and he pulls out strange things that I’ve never heard, but he’s doing well. It’s going be a long road. We both know that.”

The 73-year-old Schottenheimer, who will be in Cleveland for the 30th anniversary of the 1986 Browns team that came within “The Drive” of getting to the Super Bowl, is upbeat about the situation.

“I’m sitting here looking at a lake and it’s a spectacular setting,” Schottenheimer told Grossi. “Pat and I, the Lord’s blessed us. I mean, there’s no other way I can identify it. We’re doing really good.”

Schottenheimer coached the Browns from 1984 through 1988. He then coached the Chiefs from 1989 through 1998, Washington for the 2001 season, and the Chargers from 2002 through 2006, with his NFL career ending after a 14-2 season and a divisional-round exit from the playoffs.

49 responses to “Marty Schottenheimer battles Alzheimer’s disease

  1. I have lots of great memories of the Schottenheimer coached Browns teams from my childhood. All the best to Coach and his family.

  2. jjackwagon says:
    Oct 28, 2016 10:47 AM
    His biggest mistake was putting Grbac back in when Gannon had the hot hand. That choice cost him a SB ring.


    Who cares? It’s just football.

  3. So sorry to hear that such a great defensive mind stricken with such a horrible disease.
    Great memories of his time in KC, and “Marty ball” that overshadow the Gerbac misstep.
    Best wishes and prayers for one of the defensive greats.

  4. He was a very underrated coach – getting his start as Giants LB coach and D coordinator. Harry Carson has lots of great things to say about him

    He won everywhere he coached (except Washington) and seemed snakebit in the post season.

    Tough disease for anyone to have – and wish him and his family well.

  5. Hall of Famer in my book.

    An excellent teacher of the game which is why he had success everywhere he went.

    Even in Washington where they started 0-5, then won 8 of their last 11 games. (He was fired the following year in favor of Spurrier)

  6. Praying for him and his family. I walked this road for over 10 years with my mom. It is a long, long walk.

  7. Oh man. I hate hearing of anybody going through this.

    I have an uncle going through this right now and it is one of the most horrific things you can experience.

    May peace be with he and his family as they take on this difficult situation.

  8. Been diagnosed with early onset,,at age 56, I’m Horrified of what follows…the loss of independence and memories of the folks that matter the most…
    Marty you are not alone brother…

  9. Revitalized the San Diego Chargers. Made the franchise proud again. One of the best coaches the team’s history, treated poorly by ownership. Best wishes Marty. Be brave and have no fear.

  10. I’ve always loved Marty. He had a great outlook for his teams, who loved him as well. Definitely a “players coach”. God bless him as he battles this terrible disease. Someone well called Alzheimer’s, “the gift that keeps on taking”.

  11. “There’s a gleam, men. There’s a gleam. Let’s get the gleam.”

    Good luck to you and your family, Marty. You’re an important part of NFL history.

  12. Totally awesome Coach……Never forget the game as a Seahawk fan and we were playing at KC and Marty brought me to his office/suite at Arrowhead as a guest for the game…… I had all my Seahawk garb on (we won) and Marty came up after the game, was gracious and then gave me a Montana signed game ball. Coach, hang in there…. Praying for your peace at this time….

  13. many years ago I worked while going through school in a nursing home. Through those 4 years I watched what happens to people with this disease. Watching someone lose their mind is very very tough. Mostly cause there is nothing you can do to help them or they can do to help themselves.

  14. Loved him with the Browns . Power O .

    Marty ball . smash mouth football !

    Best wishes coach .

    Lifelong die hard Browns fan since 67 ..

  15. Always thought the world of Marty….wish him & his family the very best….glad to hear he is doing pretty well considering dealing with such a horrible disease….good luck with the challenges ahead….God Bless!!!

  16. One of the most beloved coaches and men in football. Never heard one player say a negative word about the man and several actually felt worse about not winning a ring for him than not winning a ring for themselves. Class all the way.

  17. Love you, buddy. You’re in great spirits. I’ve seen the damage this disease can wrought upon people, but you’re starting off with a fantastic attitude. You’ve lived a long and blessed life and you know that. Go Chargers!

  18. One of the only things I hate more than him as an opposing coach is this disease. I wish him luck and comfort. that is about all that can be done for these patients.

    Marty in his prime would be my first choice to coach an expansion team. He was great at getting a team to a certain level. Past that is another story.

  19. One of the best coaches ever to coach should really be in HOF but never won in the playoffs get well Marty.

  20. Took a 1-15 Chargers team and coached them to 14-2 in 4 years. They would’ve won a title if it wasn’t for Marlon McCree and The Lord of No Rings A.J. Smith.

  21. Enjoyed season tickets when he coached. D.T. Joe Montana, Christian Okoye, Raiders losses mounted nicely then!

    An irony of this is he and Pat Bowen are both similarly afflicted 🙁 Both giants among men! Thank you both!

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