Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach and long-time NFL assistant Gunther Cunningham died Saturday at the age of 72.
The Detroit Lions, for whom Cunningham last worked as defensive coordinator (2009-2013) and a senior coaching assistant (2014-2017), announced the news.
Born in Munich, Germany, Cunningham moved to the U.S. at the age of 10 and became a naturalized citizen in 2010. He attended the University of Oregon where he played linebacker.
Cunningham began his coaching career in 1969 as an Oregon assistant. His first break into the NFL came in 1982 with the then-Baltimore Colts as an assistant. He spent time with the San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Raiders before moving to Kansas City as the defensive coordinator from 1995-1998. In 1999, he succeeded Marty Schottenheimer as the Chiefs head coach for two seasons where he compiled a 16-16 record.
For more than 30 years, Cunningham was a staple personality among the NFL coaching world. His ebullience for the sport will be missed with his passing.