Marty Schottenheimer, who as head coach led the San Diego Chargers to their best record for a regular season and a pair of AFC West titles in his five-year tenure with the team, died Monday night at a hospice in Charlotte, N.C., a family spokesman said. He was 77.
Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014. He was moved to a hospice Jan. 30.
Across 21 NFL seasons, Schottenheimer amassed 200 regular-season victories and a .613 winning percentage with four franchises, starting with the Cleveland Browns in 1984. He is the eighth-winningest 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 two Super Bowl tournaments, losing their opener each time.
Though he was named NFL Coach of the Year for 2004 by the Associated Press after leading the Chargers to their first postseason since 1995, it was the 2006 team that defined Schottenheimer’s San Diego legacy by going 14-2 and earning the AFC’s top playoff seed and a first-round bye.
But 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, 24-21, as a five-point favorite in Mission Valley.
Chargers Philip Rivers, left, looks on as coach Marty Schottenheimer is dunked with water after his 200th…