The NFL’s all-time winningest head coach, Miami Dolphins legend Don Shula, has passed away at the age of 90.
One of the greatest head coaches in NFL history died Monday. Don Shula was 90.
The Miami Dolphins, the organization Shula won two Super Bowls with over the course of his 33-year head-coaching run in the league, announced the news Monday morning.
The Miami Dolphins are saddened to announce that Head Coach Don Shula passed away peacefully at his home this morning. pic.twitter.com/MKAtXFA4zd
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 4, 2020
Shula was, of course, was the architect of the only undefeated NFL champion after the 1932 season, the year in which the league implemented the playoff system. The 1972 Miami Dolphins finished 17-0, becoming the only undefeated team in NFL history without a tie. (Four such teams accomplished undefeated status prior to 1932, but with a tie.)
The only other teams to go undefeated in the regular season were the 1934 Chicago Bears (13-0), 1942 Bears (14-0) and 1007 New England Patriots (16-0), but all three eventually fell in the playoffs.
Shula and his Dolphins then followed up the undefeated campaign with another championship resulting from a 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl 8. Including the loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl 6, Shula and his Dolphins appeared three-straight Super Bowls, winning two.
New York Jets fans are extremely familiar with Shula, who was the coach of the mighty Baltimore Colts in 1968, the season that saw Joe Namath and Weeb Ewbank engineer the greatest upset in American professional sports history.
With the Dolphins, he (and often Dan Marino) tortured the Jets for well over two decades. Shula’s 328 wins are the most in NFL history, and are 10 clear of George Halas and currently 55 ahead of the active Bill Belichick, who—as long as he remains active—should break the record.
Over 33 years, Shula only experienced two losing seasons. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.