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Don Shula led the Miami Dolphins to two Super Bowl victories as head coach

By Eric Todisco
May 04, 2020 01:53 PM
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Don Shula
Credit: Joel Auerbach/Getty

Don Shula, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, has died. He was 90.

Barry Jackson, a reporter for the Miami Herald, first reported the news of Shula's death on Twitter Monday, citing confirmation from one of Shula's children.

The Dolphins confirmed Shula's death in a statement on Twitter.

“Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years," the team said. "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 widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. He led the Dolphins to two Super Bowl victories, including in the 1972 season when they went undefeated. To this day, they are the only NFL team to ever complete a perfect undefeated season.

Prior to his career as an NFL coach, he played professionally for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Washington Redskins.

In 1963, Shula began as head coach for the Baltimore Colts when he was just 33 years old. After coaching the Colts for seven years, Shula switched over to head coach for the Dolphins in 1970.

He coached the Dolphins for 26 seasons, officially retiring after the 1995 season. He currently holds the record for most wins by an NFL head coach with 328.

In 1993, Shula was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

Don Shula
Credit: Bobby Bank/WireImage

After retirement, Shula lent his name to a chain of steakhouses, Shula's Steakhouse, and opened a hotel in Miami, Florida, called Shula's Hotel and Golf Club.

In 2003, Shula performed the ceremonial coin toss to kick off Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, California.

He also started the Don Shula Foundation for Breast Cancer Research in honor of his first wife Dorothy, who died of breast cancer in 1991. They had five children together, including son Dave, who coached the Cinncinatti Bengals from 1992 to 1996 and is now the wide receiver coach for Dartmouth College.

Along with his five children, Shula is survived by his current wife Mary Anne Stephens, whom he wed in 1993.