There is an entire generation out there that only know who Marty Schottenheimer is thanks to being referenced in the Eminem song “Just Don’t Give a F**”. But that’s more notoriety than a lot of coaches who never won a Super Bowl will ever garner.
Schottenheimer’s teams were the model of consistency year after year, the staple of which was his “Marty Ball” philosophy which focused on running the ball and using the pass to setup the run on offense, while emphasizing solid defense above all else.
From 1985 to 2006 his teams averaged a record of 10 wins, 6.3 losses. In 20 full seasons as a head coach, he had 11 seasons of 10+ regular season wins and won seven or less games one time. Schottenheimer won a total of eight division titles across three franchises and appeared in the playoffs 13 different times. Only three coaches in the history of the NFL have taken a team to the playoffs in more seasons than Schottenheimer; Paul Brown, Tom Landry and Don Shula. Check those names. Whoa.
But what plagued him and his legacy was consistency of a different kind in the playoffs. In 18 career playoff games Schottenheimer only managed to win five of them. Amongst those losses were three in the AFC Championship Game, a game Schottenheimer would never ultimately win, giving him the distinction of being the winningest coach to never make it to a Super Bowl.
Marty Schottenheimer’s legacy is that he may be the best regular season coach the game has ever seen. His 200 games won is the sixth most all time and the 327 games he coached is the eighth most ever.
Another measure of his impact is the coaching tree he established and the success of former assistant coaches. Bill Cowher, Cam Cameron, Herm Edwards and Tony Dungy all got their first professional coaching experience on staffs led by Schottenheimer, with Cowher and Dungy both winning Super Bowls after “branching out” on their own. That has to sting a little bit right? That’s like having a kid who could dunk and all you could do was touch the net.
Surprisingly at the age of 67, Schottenheimer agreed last March to take over head coaching and GM duties for the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL. Just to see the old school Schottenheimer pacing the sidelines, emitting spittle at every pace is worth checking the UFL out in year two. I wonder if he’ll still wear those huge old school glasses?
Is Marty Schottenheimer the greatest coach to never win a Super Bowl?