Don Shula, the most winning coach ever in the NFL who also masterminded the only perfect season in league history has died at the age of 90, the Miami Dolphins have announced.
The Miami dolphins issued a statement announcing the death of its legendary coach who meant so much to the franchise in the city of Miami.
“The Miami Dolphins are saddened to announce that Head Coach Don Shula passed away peacefully at his home this morning,” the Miami Dolphins wrote 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 and prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne, and Mike.”
Don Shula was born in the small Ohio town of Grand River, along the Lake Erie shore in the northeastern part of the state, on January 4, 1930.
At the age of 21, Don Shula had an over four-decade career in the National Football League (NFL), first as a player for seven years, and later as a coach. He played defensive back for the Cleveland Browns (1951-1952), Baltimore Colts (1953-1956) and Washington Redskins (1957).
Shula began his coaching career as a defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions from 1960-1962. In 1963, he took the helm as head coach for the Baltimore Colts for a seven-year span continuing until 1969.
But it was when Shula took over as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 1970 that he really began to make a name for himself in a position that would span 25 years with the team.
In his first year as head coach, Shula led the Dolphins to a 10-4-0 record, placing 2nd in the AFC East division. They lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Oakland Raiders 21-14.
However, in 1971, the Dolphins under Shula won the AFC East division with a 10-3-1 record and went all the way to the Super Bowl where they lost to the Dallas Cowboys 24-3.
The 1972 season would be the record-setting perfect season for Shula and the Miami Dolphins who would win 17 games with no losses during the regular or post-season, including winning Super Bowl over the Washington Redskins 14-7.
Shula holds the record for most career wins as a head coach with 347 (328 of those in the regular-season). Shula led the Dolphins to six Super Bowls, winning two. Don Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.