Browns Coach Resigns : Schottenheimer’s Differences With Team Owner Cited
Marty Schottenheimer quit as Cleveland Browns coach Tuesday after refusing to relinquish his role as offensive coordinator.
Schottenheimer and Brown owner Art Modell said the coach was departing by mutual agreement.
“It became evident that some of the differences we had, we weren’t going to be able to resolve,” Schottenheimer said. “We came to an agreement that it was in everybody’s best interest that we part company. I appreciate the opportunity Art gave me to become a head coach. The only regret I have is that (Modell) and I and this football team together weren’t able to achieve the goal we set for ourselves.”
Modell said he met with Schottenheimer Tuesday morning and explained a program for next year, including hiring an offensive coordinator and “a number of adjustments, reassignments.”
“Marty, to his credit, was candid, frank as he always has been, and he said he could not accept those conditions,” Modell said in his office at Cleveland Stadium.
Modell felt the Browns weren’t keeping pace with other teams in the division. “What I see I don’t like. I see Houston and Cincinnati as powerhouses. . . . We can’t afford to tread water or mark time,” he said.
Schottenheimer had been criticized by fans and the media this season for assuming the role of offensive coordinator after Lindy Infante left to become head coach for the Green Bay Packers.
In interviews this week, Modell said changes were possible after the team’s season-ending, 24-23 loss to the Houston Oilers in the AFC wild-card game.
“I do know this,” Modell said. “The Cleveland Browns will not preserve the status quo for 1989. I will be meeting with my people within 48 hours. Obviously, we will reassess everything and everybody . . . “
Despite the criticism over his dual role, Schottenheimer said he chose not to hire an offensive coordinator because “I frankly thought we would go backward.”
In earlier interviews, Schottenheimer had said he felt comfortable in the job.
Schottenheimer took over as head coach when Sam Rutigliano was fired at the halfway point of the 1984 season. He led the Browns to the AFC title games in 1986 and 1987, losing to Denver both times.
The Browns finished second in the division this season with a 10-6 record.