MIAMI – Don Shula, the legendary Miami Dolphins coach who won more games than anyone else in NFL history, has died.
He was 90.
The Dolphins say that Shula “passed away peacefully” at his home across Biscayne Bay from downtown Miami 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,” the team said in a statement. “Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to [his wife] Mary Anne along with his children Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike.”
On Monday, the Dolphins flag outside the team’s facility in Davie flew at half staff for the man that led Miami to two Super Bowl titles, including the undefeated 1972 season — the only perfect season in league history.
Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula stands on the sideline during a 14-3 loss to the Colts in Baltimore, Dec. 13, 1971.
“Hard to believe he’s gone. He was such a dominant force,” Larry Csonka, the fullback on the Dolphins’ title teams tweeted. “I fully expected he’d live to see 100. Winning was critical to him but winning WITHIN THE RULES was more important. There was only 1 perfect team in the first 100 yrs of the NFL and Coach Shula is the reason!”
Shula surpassed George Halas’ league-record 324 victories in 1993. He retired after the 1995 season with a record of 347-173-6 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.