Marty Schottenheimer, sixth on the NFL's all-time coaching victories list, is heading to the United Football League to be the coach/general manager of the Virginia Destroyers, the league announced Wednesday.
Schottenheimer, 67, has not coached since he was unceremoniously fired by the San Diego Chargers after a 14-2 season in 2006, primarily because of a dysfunctional relationship with general manager A.J. Smith.
His career regular-season record as an NFL head coach with stops in Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego is 200-126-1. He has eight division championships, but his teams were just 5-13 in postseason play.
"I am excited to lead the Destroyers and am eager to return to the football field in Virginia," Schottenheimer said in a statement announcing his hiring. "I have been impressed with the fervor and passion that has been created in the region for a team that has yet to play a down of football. I promise the fans there that we will repay them with a great product on the field and a franchise to make them proud."
Schottenheimer will coach the roster of the Florida Tuskers, who ceased operations after last season and moved to Virginia. The Tuskers had played in the first two UFL title games.
Schottenheimer is expected to name a former NFL assistant, Paul Hackett, as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
The team is scheduled play the 2011 season at the Virginia Beach Sports Plex. It has been a rocky expansion start, with two coaches and a GM exiting in recent months, including Jay Gruden's departure to become the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator, and GM Doug Williams accepting the head coach position at his alma mater, Grambling.
"The Destroyers fans have been very patient in waiting for a head coach and we believe we have rewarded them with a great leader and a proven winner," UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue. "Marty Schottenheimer is among the NFL coaching greats and his record speaks for itself. He is another quality coach whose appointment will benefit all areas of the United Football League from player development to ensuring we continue to provide great entertainment for our fans."
Schottenheimer joins Hartford's Jerry Glanville, Las Vegas' Jim Fassel and Sacramento's Dennis Green as UFL coaches who previously had worked in the NFL.
Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen was used in this report.