NFL's winningest coach Don Shula dies at 90

Ruben Hill
May 6, 2020

"He was a remarkable teacher and mentor who for decades inspired excellence and exemplified integrity", said Goodell. Shula joined the Dolphins in 1970, two years after the Colts' loss in Super Bowl III. The next season, Shula led them to a second straight victory in the Super Bowl, America's biggest sporting event.

But two cornerstones of Shula's legacy remain intact: He's the NFL's all-time leader in regular-season wins (328) and total wins (347) and remains the only coach to complete an undefeated season, which the 1972 Dolphins remind us of annually. Appreciating one's body of work seems less important than how many championships a particular athlete wins.

In Don Shula's obituary Monday, the flawless season went higher than anything else.

"I want to count my blessings". Barry sent me over a picture of an autographed football from Shula along with a few stories.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said that if there were a Mount Rushmore for the NFL, Don Shula would be chiseled into the granite. Shula died on Monday at the age of 90.

Donald Francis Shula was born on January 4, 1930, in Grand River, Ohio, the son of Hungarian parents.

Johnson is the only player in football history to play on an undefeated college team and an undefeated professional team.

He came back to the National Football League in 1960 when the Detroit Lions made him their defensive coordinator.

NFL's winningest coach Don Shula dies at 90
NFL's winningest coach Don Shula dies at 90

The Colts came calling in 1963 after they fired Ewbank, because Shula left a lasting impression of coaching intelligence when he played under him.

The '72 Dolphins entered training camp with one goal - return to the Super Bowl and this time win it. Arnsparger's branch of Shula's tree is owed to one key hire with the New York Giants.

After being traded from the New England Patriots, Coach Don Shula made Fryar the league's top receiver for the most yards per catch. But the urban myth doesn't take away from the fact that the 1972 Dolphins are the only team to complete a flawless season.

His team with Bob Griese and Larry Csonka became the only one to finish the regular season unbeaten and win the Super Bowl.

The Dolphins, though, capped off their flawless season with a 14-7 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. When Bob Griese, his almost flawless quarterback, went down with a mid-season injury, Shula plugged in Earl Morrall, the Super Bowl III loser against Namath, whom he acquired from the Colts.

The Miami Dolphins lost this game, but in some ways, it doesn't matter.

Shula learned everywhere he went and understood what kind of personnel it took to win games consistently and at the highest level.

"Coach Shula - you will truly be missed! Every game I lost helped make me a better coach". By the time he retired in 1957 and was making his transition to coaching, Shula, playing for fellow Hall of Famers Paul Brown and Weeb Ewbank, gained a lot of invaluable early experience with schemes, tactics and team chemistry.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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