NFL’s Winningest Coach, Don Shula, Dies at 90

Dolphins Head Coach, Don Shula, died in his home on Monday. The 90-year-old retired NFL coach is remembered as the “winningest” coach in league history. 

He won an NFL-record 347 games over 33 seasons and appeared in six Super Bowls. Shula’s most memorable year came in 1972 when he led the Dolphins to the NFL’s only undefeated season (17-0) to date. The historic season ended in a 14-7 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. Shula coached the Dolphins for 26 seasons before resigning after the 1995 season. 

Another notable moment in his coaching career came in 1994 when the Cincinnati Bengals faced off against the Dolphins. Shula’s oldest son, Daniel, was head coach of the Bengals from 199-96. This marked the first time in professional sports that a father and son faced off as head coaches. The Dolphins took home the win 23-7.

Prior to his tenure with the Dolphins, Shula coached the Baltimore Colts for seven straight winning seasons (1962-1969). At 33, he was the then-youngest NFL coach. He led the team to Super Bowl III.

Previous to his coaching career, Shula played for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Washington Redskins (1951-52, 1953-56, and 1957). 

In 1997, he became one of just three coaches to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Along with George Halas and Bill Belichick, Shula is one of the only coaches in league history to win more than 300 games. He finished with an overall coaching record of 347-173-6 (73-26-4 with Baltimore).

“Today is a sad day,” Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel said in a 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.”

In addition to his legendary sports career, Shula is remembered for his charity work. He established The Don Shula Foundation as a tribute to his late wife, Dorothy, who died of breast cancer. The foundation gave over $1.5 million to the Moffitt Cancer Center to assist in the development of a breast cancer vaccine and fund research.

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