Legendary NFL Coach Don Shula Dead at 90

Don Shula
The Associated Press

The NFL’s all-time winningest coach, Don Shula, has passed away at the age of 90.

The Dolphins released a statement Monday morning lauding Shula’s legacy and expressing their sorrow at his passing.

“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 on the national sports scene. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children, Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike.”

According to Pro Football Talk:

A ninth-round pick out of John Carroll in 1951, Shula played defensive back for the Browns, Colts, and Washington through 1957.

He returned to the NFL in 1960, as the Lions’ defensive coordinator. Three seasons later, the Colts hired Shula to serve as head coach.

After the 1969 season, Shula signed to coach the Dolphins, with Miami giving up a first-round pick after the Colts charged Miami with tampering. It was nevertheless a great investment; the Dolphins went to the Super Bowl to cap the 1971 season (losing to the Cowboys), crafted the NFL’s only 17-0 season in 1972, and won another Super Bowl the next year.

Shula remained the Dolphins coach through the 1995 season, opting to retire after refusing to make sweeping changes to his coaching staff following a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills. His 328 regular season wins are still an all-time best, Shula also had 19 postseason victories.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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