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Remembering Marty Schottenheimer
Here's a look at reactions from former Chargers players on the life, impact, and legacy of Marty Schottenheimer.
By Hayley Elwood Feb 09, 2021

Former Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer passed away Monday at the age of 77.

He led the Bolts from 2002-2006 and guided the team to two AFC West titles in his tenure. He earned AP Coach of the Year honors in 2004.

Here's a look at reactions from former Chargers on Schottenheimer's impact and legacy.


"The best coach I ever had. I never went into a game with Marty as a coach feeling like I wasn't fully prepared to win. He really wanted you to understand every detail of the game plan.

I considered him a true All-American man. He was a great father figure and I was fortunate that my wife and I got to know he and Pat beyond the typical player and coach relationship.

He was a well-rounded human being. He cared more about the man than the athlete. I will remember him more for the life lessons that he taught me."


"Coach Schottenheimer got the attention of a room and had a way of delivering the message he wanted received in a way only he could. I am very thankful I got to play for him my first 3 seasons in the NFL.

Old school, very compassionate, very matter of fact , and just one heck of a coach. I can hear him now, 'One play at a time!!!'

Thoughts and Prayers for Mrs. Pat and Coach B. Schotti and the whole family."


"The first time I heard his voice was on draft night in 2004. The phone rang...'Nick, this is Coach Schottenheimer. Congratulations son, you're going to be a San Diego Charger!'

Coming in to the team as a young, wild, brash kid, who thought he had it all figured out...Marty was exactly what I needed my first NFL coach to be.

As a coach, he was as direct, disciplined, and fierce as they came. Yet, at times he showed us a real tenderness and vulnerability that drew his players in. We loved him.

He may never have won a Super Bowl during his coaching career. Unfortunately, not every great coach gets to do that. But, great coaches always get the best from their teams. Marty sure did get the best out of us!

I'll never think about Marty Schottenheimer without at first thinking about his simple wisdom that I heard countless times on the practice and game field, and I still implement every day of my life...


God bless you Marty."


"Marty was a huge part of my personal success and the team's as a whole. His message to us was a simple one: be accountable and play tough … which affectionately became known as 'Marty Ball.' 

That mantra motivated me and my teammates to go out there and give it our all each and every play. He stood firmly on his morals and values and it showed on and off the field.

He will forever be remembered as a big part of my growth as an NFL player. Rest in Peace, Coach."


“RIP, Coach! Marty was tough & passionate. Never forget the 1st day of practice he had the entire team doing Oklahoma Drills. We couldn’t believe it, didn’t like it, but loved Marty. He would shed tears every week over his love for the game. He loved football. You’ll be missed!”

"Coach Schottenheimer is a true football general. He cared for his teams and his players as if they were his own family. When I got the opportunity to join the Chargers, coming to San Diego wasn't just about joining LT and Drew Brees, it was about being able to play for Coach Schottenheimer. He set the bar high and challenged me to always be my very best. Never letting any of us settle for less than he knew we were capable of. He was a tremendous coach and is an even better man. I'm forever grateful I had the opportunity to play for him." - Mike Goff

"Sad day for me. We have lost a great Coach, Man, Father and Husband in Coach Marty. I love you and you will be missed. Sending my condolences to Schottenheimer Family!!!" - Antonio Cromartie

"RIP Coach Schottenhemier. Thank you for the lessons you've taught me coming in. I can still hear your voice asking me was I ready to be a Charger before I was drafted. I can also remember you grabbing my facemask after the big hit on Priest Holmes and you telling while I was celebrating great hit but don't forget his family and friends are watching which put everything in perspective that day." - Shawne Merriman


“I loved Marty he was like a father figure to me. The best coach I ever had. With his old school smash mouth style of coaching, very tough but always fair. Made me hate the 'Fuckin Raiders.' Great Coach, loved playing for him.”

"Marty would often shed a tear when talking about his family and football, his passion was so deep. I always admired him for it. Thank you coach for your toughness and love. RIP." - Ben Leber

"Thank you, Marty Schottenheimer, for trusting me as a leader in a 2004 Chargers locker room and helping establish a winning culture w/ a group of young talented guys. My favorite coach of all time. I love you and your family always!" - Roman Oben

"Marty taught me that every role on a team is equally important. He rewarded hard work. He gave me a chance when nobody else would. He was passionate. Full of love. He wasn't a coach alone. He was a role model for grown men. I'm a Marty Ball guy to the core. Forever grateful that he shared his love with me." - Kassim Osgood

"Marty was a man who represented hard work and dedication. He was dedicated to his players, team, and fan base. He represented the blue collar mentality and loved all of his players! Marty will be missed but never forgotten! We love and respect you coach! Thank you for everything!" - Stephen Cooper

Take a look back at Marty Schottenheimer's time as the head coach of the Chargers.


“The lessons and wisdom of Marty Schottenheimer will forever ring in my ears. He loved his players and he loved his family. I am so grateful and honored to have played for him. Rest in Peace Coach Marty!”


"First I want to send my thoughts and prayers to the Schottenheimer family.

Marty was the first NFL coach to believe in me so I would literally run through a wall for him.

Marty taught me to be accountable to myself and my teammates. I will forever be grateful for his leadership as a coach and more important as a man.

Thank you coach for believing in me and your memory will live on forever through every player and coach. I'm proud to say I played 'Marty Ball.'"


"My condolences go out to the Schottenheimer family. We lost a great man and coach. Gave this kid an opportunity few get to experience. RIP Marty. Still remember breaking down film with him for 2 hours as I prepared for the combine. One of the best times I’ve had breakin down film."


"'One play at a time.'

Those who played under Marty Schottenheimer have heard this phrase a million times. It's been etched in brain since my rookie year in 1996.

Thank you for all the life lessons that I was able to use both on and off the field. You will be forever loved and missed.

Rest easy Coach Schottenheimer."

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