Don Shula, the legendary NFL coach of the Miami Dolphins who led the team to consecutive Super Bowl victories in the ’70s and holds the record for the most victories as a head coach in the NFL, has died. He was 90.
The Miami Dolphins said in a statement Monday that Shula “passed away peacefully at his home” on Monday morning.
“Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years. He brought the winning edge to our franchise and put the Dolphins and the city of Miami in the national sports scene,” the team said in a statement. “Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike.”
In 1972, Shula led the Dolphins to a Super Bowl and the only “perfect season” recorded in the NFL, going 17-0 in the regular season and then winning the Super Bowl in a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins. They beat the Minnesota Vikings for their second NFL championship the following year. Throughout his career, Shula won a record 347 games and guided the team to five Super Bowls.
Shula was further named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1993 and won the Coach of the Year prize from the AP four times during his career.
He would stay in Miami for 26 seasons as a head coach and retired in 1995. Before his stint at Miami, he was head coach of the Baltimore Colts between 1963-1969. He also was drafted out of John Carroll University and played defensive back in the NFL for 73 games, including time with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts and Washington Redskins.
Shula was born in Grand River, Ohio and before becoming a professional athlete served for 11 months in Ohio’s national guard during the Korean War. Later in his life after his football career, Shula lent his name to a chain of steakhouses, Shula’s Steakhouse, and a line of condiments.
The Miami Dolphins are saddened to announce that Head Coach Don Shula passed away peacefully at his home this morning. pic.twitter.com/MKAtXFA4zd
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 4, 2020