Who is Marty Schottenheimer's wife Pat? A look at legendary NFL coach's love story before his death at 77
Legendary NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease at age 77. The acclaimed NFL coach was moved to a hospice facility near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, on January 30 because of complications from a progressive brain disorder. Schottenheimer is survived by his wife of 54 years, Pat, his children Kristen and Brian, and grandchildren Brandon, Catherine, Sutton, and Savannah.
Schottenheimer’s NFL coaching career ended in 2006 following a 14-2 season with the Chargers and a divisional-round exit from the playoffs. Schottenheimer’s daughter, Kristen, said in a statement that her father is now looking down on from heaven and smiling while adding: “We are so incredibly proud of the man he was and how he lived his life.” Apart from being one of the finest NFL coaches, who won 200 regular-season games with four NFL teams over more than two decades, Schottenheimer’s personal life has remained a talk of the sporting world. His wife, Pat, supported him through the thick and thin and stayed by his side when he breathed his last at age 77.
Who is Pat Schottenheimer?
Born Patricia A. Hoeltgen, Pat married Schottenheimer in 1968. Their first date is mentioned in Schottenheimer’s biography, ‘Martyball: The Life and Triumphs of Marty Schottenheimer, The Coach Who Really Did Win It All’ by Jeffrey Flanagan. The book mentions how in 1965, they met on Daytona Beach, Florida, while enjoying their spring break. Schottenheimer asked Pat out to dinner, and she gave him the address of where she was staying at that time. However, when the young Schottenheimer knocked at Pat’s door, he couldn’t recognize her in her light yellow summer dress.
After a confusing and humorous debacle, they ended up going out to a lovely dinner and eventually tied knots after three years of dating.
In 2011, Schottenheimer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and ever since then, his wife remained by his side. Pat revealed back then that one of the things that they have been good with in dealing with Schottenheimer’s diagnosis is how they have always worked as a team. Pat even mentioned that their family kept the diagnosis quiet for a while and only made the news public when the symptoms became noticeable. While talking about her husband and how he has coped up with his disease, Pat said during an interview with WCNC that Schottenheimer “has always been a good man, always happy, fun personality, lots of men friends and family friends, always one of the guys. His personality hasn’t changed that much.”
While talking about Alzheimer’s disease, Pat said, "We're doing everything we can and we're fortunate because we have good medical help but there's not much out there. We're just going to manage. The kids, the grandkids, Phoebe (the cocker spaniel), and I, we're going to manage."
During the interview, Pat added that she considers herself lucky to have the support of her family and friends. Following his diagnosis, the couple moved to a smaller place in Cornelius, North Carolina, but they all remained pretty strong irrespective of all the odds. Pat also referred to Marty’s NFL career as a full-time job that served both of them. She talked about the game and stated how it bothered her husband that he never won a Super Bowl. However, the legend had the respect and love of several young players, which is “better than a Super Bowl” in Pat’s opinion.