Legendary NFL Coach Don Shula Dies


Legendary former NFL coach Don Shula, the winningest coach in the history of the league, has died at the age of 90.

Shula died Monday, a member of his family confirmed to Miami Herald reporter Barry Jackson.

“Very sad news: Dolphins Hall of Fame coach Don Shula passed away this morning at age 90, one of his children confirmed,” Jackson said in a tweet.

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The Miami Dolphins issued a statement confirming the news.

The team wrote 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. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike,” the team wrote in the statement.

Shula coached the Dolphins for 26 seasons and led the team to 24 winning seasons.

His Miami teams also reached the playoffs 20 times and won two Super Bowls.

Shula coached the perfect 17-0 1972 Dolphins, the only major pro sports team to complete a perfect season in winning a championship.

The team defended its title the following year, winning Super Bowl VIII after finishing the regular season 12-2.

Shula previously led the Baltimore Colts to seven straight winning seasons from 1963 to 1969.

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A former defensive player, he was known for his no-nonsense approach to the game as he compiled an overall NFL record 347 wins as a coach.

The legendary coach was also a devout Catholic and had considered becoming a priest before going into coaching.

“I once seriously considered the priesthood myself. But then I decided I couldn’t be a priest and a coach too,” he told People magazine in a 1974 interview.

One of Shula’s sons, current Denver Broncos quarterbacks coach Mike Shula, spoke of his tough father’s “tender” side during his 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

“Don Shula has a tender side as well, you just have to dig a little to find it,” he said.

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“Devotion to his religion, his family and the NFL have brought dad here today. He has been described in part because of his jutting jaw as the NFL’s National Monument. His devotion to his real and his football family inspires tremendous loyalty for all of us.”

Shula was born in Grand River, Ohio, in 1930. He retired from coaching in 1995.

He is survived by his five children, 16 grandchildren, five great-grandsons and his wife, Mary Anne, according to The Associated Press.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.