Don Shula, former Miami Dolphins head coach, died at the age of 90 on Monday, and NFL fans have been paying tribute to him. One of his good friends, former Buffalo Bills head coach Marv Levy, reacted to the news of Shula's passing as soon as he could. Jeff Russo, a reporter for WKBW, spoke to Levy on Monday and asked him about Shula. Levy said he loved the fact they were friends and respected Shula as a coach and teacher. He also said Monday is a "very sad day" because of Shula's death.
"I had great respect for Don," Levy said. "He wasn't just a great coach, he was a fantastic credit to the game. He played by the rules. He had respect for his opponents. He was a good teacher. He was great." With Shula being the head coach of the Dolphins and Levy being the head coach the Bills, the two have had their share of battles on the football field. And while Shula has more wins than any other coach in NFL history, Levy knew how to prepare for the Dolphins over the years. According to Football Perspective, Levy has won 17 of 23 regular-season games against Shula. The two also faced each other in the playoffs three times with Levy winning all three matchups.
Levy was able to get the best of Shula head-to-head, but Levy would love the have the success the former Dolphins coach was able to obtain in his career. Shula led the Dolphins to two Super Bowl wins in the 1970s. His 1972 squad, is the last team to go undefeated through the year. Shula and Levy are the only two coaches in NFL history to lead teams to three consecutive Super Bowls, but Levy came up short in each of the meetings.
"Today is a sad day," Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel said in a statement, per ESPN. "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." Shula also won an NFL Championship when he was the head coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1968.