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Football World Mourns Passing of Coaching Legend Don Shula

The entire football world continues to mourn the death of coaching legend Don Shula, who passed away Monday at the age of 90.  He began his coaching career with the Baltimore Colts at just 33 years of age but he is most remembered for his long tenure coaching the Miami Dolphins.   The team put out this 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’s Legacy

He started his NFL coaching career in 1960 as the defensive backfield coach for the Detroit Lions and in 1963 he was named the head coach of the Baltimore Colts.  In 1964, he led the team to a 12-2 record and to the NFL Championship against the Cleveland Browns. The Colts lost, but in spite of that, Shula was named NFL Coach of the Year and he won the award again in 1967.  The team made it to the Super Bowl but lost to the upstart New York Jets of the AFL after the 1968 season and shortly after he was let go by the Colts.

Shula moved over to the Miami Dolphins in 1970. Under him, the team made an appearance in five Super Bowls. In 1972, he led the team to the league’s only undefeated season at 17-0. He won a total of 347 games, an NFL record. The 1972 season ended with a victory against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl 7. The next season, they beat the Minnesota Viking 24-7 in Super Bowl 8. 

He retired in 1995, making him an NFL coach for 33 seasons. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

Former Dolphins fullback Larry Csonka explains Shula’s legacy. He made an effort to form personal relationships with not only players, but with families and staff members.

Csonka said Shula’s coaching style was something else that made him stand out, saying Shula paid great attention to the little details of winning.

After retiring from the NFL, Shula started a chain of restaurants called Shula’s Steakhouse and he also traveled the country making motivational speeches about winning. 

 

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