DON SHULA, the winningest coach in National Football League (NFL) history, died Monday. He was 90.
“Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years,” the team 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.”
Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997 after more than four decades in the NFL, first as a player and then a coach.
Shula’s Dolphins won two Super Bowls and appeared in three others, including the iconic 1972 team that went undefeated.
“Today is a sad day,” Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel said in a statement.
Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who played for Shula from 1983-95, expressed his condolences on Twitter.
“Coach Shula — you will truly be missed! You embody the definition of ‘greatness.’ You brought that winning attitude with you every day and made everyone around you better,” Marino wrote.
“Thank you for always believing in me. You made me a better player and person. My thoughts & prayers are with the entire Shula Family. Love you Coach!”
At age 33, Shula was named head coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1963. It was the first of 33 seasons he spent as an NFL head coach. Shula was hired by the Dolphins in 1970 and retired after the 1995 season with 328 career wins and 490 games coached.
Only Shula and George Halas have at least 300 career victories. — Reuters