Don Shula died at the age of 90 this week and he's considered one of the best NFL coaches of all-time. He retired from coaching in 1995, but what he was able to accomplish with the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Colts is nothing short of amazing. Shula is known more for his work with the Dolphins because he was with the team for 26 seasons. That is something that is very rare in today's NFL because of the high expectations from team executives and fans. But Shula was able to bring stability to the Dolphins which led to multiple championships.
"The Miami Dolphins are saddened to announce that head coach Don Shula passed away peacefully at his home this morning," the team said in a statement. "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. Our deepest thoughts are prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike.
Most NFL fans know that Shula led the Dolphins to two Super Bowl wins. They also know about his 1972 team going a perfect 17-0. However, Shula accomplished a lot more in his storied NFL career.
Four Time Coach of the Year
We lost the greatest coach of all time. RIP Coach Don Shula pic.twitter.com/nVD0nkQm1W— Bruce Arians (@BruceArians) May 4, 2020
Shula won the Associated Press Coach of the Year award four times in his career. The interesting thing about this is his first three Coach of the Year Awards were given to him when he was with the Baltimore Colts (1964, 1967 and 1968). Shula won his fourth Coach of the Year Award in 1972 when he led the Dolphins to an undefeated season.
Along with winning two Super Bowls with the Dolphins, Shula led the Colts to an NFL Championship in 1968. That team only lost one game, which was to the Cleveland Browns. The Colts also lost to the New York Jets in the Super Bowl.
Suffered Only Two Losing Season
Deeply saddened to hear the passing of Coach Don Shula. He always treated me so well & was so kind to my family. He was a champion on the sidelines, one of the greatest. Off the field, he did so much philanthropic work in the community. A true legend who will be greatly missed pic.twitter.com/laaswjMOBs— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) May 4, 2020
In his 33 years as an NFL coach, Shula only suffered two losing seasons. The first one came in 1976 (6-8) and the second came in 1988 (6-10). Bill Belichick is considered the greatest coach of all-time, but he has more losing seasons than Shula.
More Wins Than Everybody
⭐️ Most wins in NFL history (347)
⭐️ 2x Super Bowl Champion
⭐️ 4x Coach of the Year
⭐️ Coached the NFL's only perfect season
Don Shula's legacy will live forever. Rest in Peace, Coach. pic.twitter.com/4vUu0oimXU— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 4, 2020
Because Shula only suffered two losing seasons, he was able to record 328 wins, which is the most in NFL history. And if you add the playoffs games, the legendary coach has won 347 games with only 173 losses. That record may never be broken.
AFC East King
A legend in the game.
Rest in peace, Don Shula.
(AP/Willens) pic.twitter.com/w5gsyjwQFU— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) May 4, 2020
In his 26 seasons with the Dolphins, Shula led the team to first place in the AFC East 15 times. Before Belichick and Tom Brady reigned supreme, it was Shula and his Dolphins that controlled the division during the 70s and 80s.
Coached 15 Hall of Fame Players
Dan Marino and Don Shula together made for some of the most entertaining football of all time. RIP Don. A piece of my childhood to never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/jfbIQ2RP5P— Jason Baiamonte (@jbaiamonte247) May 5, 2020
Shula was able to mentor his share of talented players. 15 of the players Shula coached have been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame including Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, Larry Csonka and Dan Marino.
Six Super Bowls
Larry Csonka on Don Shula: "I was just with him, just the last Super Bowl, and Don was so very much alive and so dominant ... he's such a dominant figure, that you never think about him passing."https://t.co/1kyd4cKtng pic.twitter.com/69OK8jCFhh— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 5, 2020
Shula knew how to get to the big game as he led his teams to six Super Bowls. He led the Colts to one Super Bowl appearance and led the Dolphins to five while winning two. Shula and Belichick are the only coaches in NFL history to appear in six or more Super Bowls.