Don Shula, the NFL’s winningest coach who led the Miami Dolphins to the league’s solely undefeated season, died on Monday. He was 90.
The Dolphins issued a press release saying that Shula died “peacefully at his dwelling.”
“Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years,” the assertion stated. “He introduced the profitable edge to our franchise and put the Dolphins and the town of Miami within the nationwide sports activities scene. Our deepest ideas and prayers exit to Mary Anne alongside together with his kids Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike.”
Shula gained an NFL-record 347 video games, together with together with playoff video games. He coached the Dolphins to the league’s solely undefeated season (17-0) in 1972, culminating in a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Tremendous Bowl VII.
The Dolphins repeated as champions the subsequent season, beating the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in Tremendous Bowl VIII, the third straight title sport Miami had performed in; the Dolphins misplaced 24-Three to the Dallas Cowboys in Tremendous Bowl VI.
In all, Shula guided the Dolphins to 5 Tremendous Bowls, together with losses to the Redskins (27-17 in Tremendous Bowl XVII) and San Francisco 49ers (38-16 in Tremendous Bowl XIX).
“In the present day is a tragic day,” Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel stated in a press release. “Coach Shula was the uncommon man who exemplified true greatness in each side of his life. He shall be so missed by so many however his legacy of character and excellence will endure. All my finest to Mary Anne and the Shula household.”
Earlier than coming to Miami, Shula coached the Baltimore Colts, who made him the then-youngest NFL coach after they employed him at age 33. He led the Colts to Tremendous Bowl III, the primary title sport to formally have “Tremendous Bowl” in its title. Baltimore misplaced 16-7 to quarterback Joe Namath and the New York Jets, who turned the primary AFL crew to win a Tremendous Bowl.
By the point he resigned as Dolphins coach after the 1995 season, Shula had been an NFL head coach for 33 seasons, 26 with Miami. Solely two of his Dolphins groups completed beneath .500 throughout these 26 seasons. He completed with an total teaching report of 347-173-6 (73-26-Four with Baltimore).
Shula was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1997. He, George Halas and Invoice Belichick are the one coaches in NFL historical past to win greater than 300 video games.
“Don Shula is likely one of the all-time nice teaching figures and the usual for consistency and management within the NFL,” Belichick stated in a press release. “I used to be lucky to develop up in Maryland as a fan of the Baltimore Colts who, underneath Coach Shula, have been one of many excellent groups of that period. My first connection to Coach Shula was via my father, whose friendship with Coach Shula went again to their days in northeast Ohio. I lengthen my deepest condolences to the Shula household and the Dolphins group.”
Shula additionally performed seven seasons as a defensive again within the NFL after being drafted by the Cleveland Browns within the ninth spherical (110th total) of the 1951 draft after enjoying collegiately at John Carroll College in Cleveland. He had 21 profession interceptions in seven NFL seasons for Cleveland (1951-52), Baltimore (1953-56) and Washington (1957).
“Don Shula will all the time be remembered as one of many best coaches and contributors within the historical past of our sport. He made an awfully optimistic affect on so many lives,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated in a press release. “The winningest coach in NFL historical past and the one one to guide a crew to an ideal season, Coach Shula lived an unparalleled soccer life. As a participant, Corridor of Fame coach, and long-time member and co-chair of the NFL Competitors Committee, he was a exceptional instructor and mentor who for many years impressed excellence and exemplified integrity.”
Each of Shula’s sons adopted him into the NFL teaching ranks. Mike Shula is the quarterbacks coach for the Denver Broncos and David Shula was the Cincinnati Bengals’ head coach from 1992 to 1996. He additionally performed one season with Baltimore (1981).