Known for a brand of football known as "Martyball," former NFL Head Football Coach Marty Schottenheimer died in his home in Charlotte (on February 8, 2021) after suffering from Alzheimer's since 2014. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer's slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and progresses over time. Since the person cannot reason and remember, they require supervision and other long-term health care services to protect them from themselves.
Schottenheimer was a very successful coach noted for his emphasis on the running game and strong defenses. He was the eighth-winningest head coach in NFL history with a career record of 200-126-1 in 21 seasons.
He coached the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington, and San Diego Chargers.
Schottenheimer coached the Chiefs for ten seasons.
"Our family and the entire Chiefs Kingdom mourn the loss of Marty Schottenheimer, and our prayers and heartfelt condolences are with his wonderful wife Pat and the entire Schottenheimer family today," Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement.
Social media was quick to react.
Family Proud of His Life
"We know he is looking down on us from heaven and smiling," Schottenheimer's daughter, Kristen, said in a statement.
"We are so incredibly proud of the man he was and how he lived his life.
"Now more than ever, he would want us to do what he did best: put one foot in front of the other and keep grinding forward, to take care of each other and take care of business, to simply be good to people and love with every single fiber of your being to truly make the world a better place. To honor his legacy, we ask you all to do the same. Smile to someone you don't know today, and Marty Schottenheimer will surely smile down on you."
With wife Pat, in an ESPN interview in 2017, said her husband thought he was just getting older. She explained that he would start forgetting names, people, and even where he was.
"Alzheimer's is a big word," Marty Schottenheimer said in the interview. At the time, his wife said they made every effort to make life as easy for him as best they can.
One in Three Seniors Die with Alzheimer’s
Schottenheimer's joins an ever-growing list of people who had to deal with dementia. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and has no cure, according to the Alzheimer's Association. It is the only leading cause of death without any way to prevent it, cure it, or even slow its progression.
Since those with dementia require supervision and help with daily activities, families face significant challenges. The spouse (depending on their age and health) or the adult children find themselves in the role of caregiver, or they must manage paid care services, which are very expensive.
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