Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history, died Monday. He was 90.
“Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years,” the team said in a statement. “He brought the winning edge to our franchise and put the Dolphins and the city of Miami in the national sports scene. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike.”
Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997 after more than four decades in the NFL, first as a player and then a coach.
?”Don Shula will always be remembered as one of the greatest coaches and contributors in the history of our game,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a a statement on Monday. “He made an extraordinarily positive impact on so many lives. The winningest coach in NFL history and the only one to lead a team to a perfect season, Coach Shula lived an unparalleled football life. As a player, Hall of Fame coach, and long-time member and co-chair of the NFL Competition Committee, he was a remarkable teacher and mentor who for decades inspired excellence and exemplified integrity. His iconic legacy will endure through his family and continue to inspire generations to come. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Don’s wife Mary Anne along to his children Dave, Donna, Sharon and Mike, the Shula family, and the Dolphins organization.”
Shula’s Dolphins won two Super Bowls and appeared in three others, including the iconic 1972 team that went undefeated.
“Today is a sad day,” Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel said in a statement. “Coach Shula was the rare man who exemplified true greatness in every aspect of his life. He will be so missed by so many but his legacy of character and excellence will endure. All my best to Mary Anne and the Shula family.”
At age 33, Shula was named head coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1963. It was the first of 33 seasons he spent as an NFL head coach. Shula was hired by the Dolphins in 1970 and retired after the 1995 season with 328 career wins and 490 games coached.
Only Shula and George Halas have at least 300 career victories.
Drafted in the ninth round by Cleveland in 1951, Shula played seven seasons as a defensive back with the Browns (1951-52), Colts (1953-56) and Washington Redskins (1957). He played in 73 games and collected 21 interceptions.
–Field Level Media