Don Shula

Donald Francis Shula (born January 4, 1930) is a former professional American football coach and player who is best known as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, the team he led to two Super Bowl victories, and to the only perfect season in the history of the National Football League (NFL). He was previously the head coach of the Baltimore Colts, with whom he won the 1968 NFL Championship. Shula was drafted out of John Carroll University in the 1951 NFL Draft, and he played professionally as a defensive back for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Washington Redskins.

Shula was named 1993 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. He had only two losing seasons in his 33-year career as a head coach in the NFL. He led his teams to six Super Bowls. In his first Super Bowl, the Colts set the record for the longest period to be shut out, not scoring until 3:19 remained in the game, which was later broken in Super Bowl VII. At his next Super Bowl, the Dolphins set the Super Bowl record for the lowest points scored by any team, with one field goal. The following year, he coached a perfect season and broke the record of longest shutout, this time with his team on the winning side, not giving up any points until 2:07 remained. The Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl champions the following season, as they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 24–7. He currently holds the NFL record for most career wins as a head coach, with 347. Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

Don Shula
refer to caption
Shula in 2009
No. 96, 44, 25, 26
Position:Defensive back
Personal information
Born:January 4, 1930 (age 89)
Grand River, Ohio
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Painesville (OH) Harvey
College:John Carroll
NFL Draft:1951 / Round: 9 / Pick: 110
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:73
Interceptions:21
Player stats at NFL.com
Head coaching record
Regular season:328–156–6 (.676)
Postseason:19–17 (.528)
Career:347–173–6 (.665)
Coaching stats at PFR

Early life and college

Shula was born in Grand River, Ohio, a small town along the Lake Erie shore in the northeastern part of the state.[1] His parents, Dan and Mary, were of Hungarian origin, having immigrated when they were children.[2] Shula's father Dan worked for $9 a week at a rose nursery and saved up to buy the small house where Shula spent his early childhood.[2] The house was next door to a grocery store in Grand River owned by Mary's parents.[2] Shula played football in his neighborhood as a child, but his parents forbade it after he got a gash on his face when he was 11.[1]

As Shula's family expanded—he had six siblings, including a set of triplets born in 1936—his father got a job in the local fishing industry for $15 a week, and later worked at a rayon plant in nearby Painesville, Ohio.[2] Shula attended elementary school at St. Mary's, a private Catholic school in Painesville; his mother was a devout Catholic, and his father converted to that denomination when they married.[2] He later attended Thomas W. Harvey in Painesville and played on its football team starting in 1945.[2] He did not try out for the team because of both his mother's prohibition on him playing and he was recovering from a bout of pneumonia, but an assistant football coach noticed him in a gym class and convinced him to join.[1][2] Shula forged his parents' signatures to sign up.[1][2]

Within weeks of joining Harvey's football team, Shula was a starting left halfback in the school's single-wing offense.[2] He handled a large portion of the team's rushing and passing duties, and helped lead the team to a 7–3 win–loss record in his senior year.[2] It was the first time in 18 years that Harvey had a seven-win season.[2] The team would have won a league title had it not lost an early game to Willoughby.[2] Shula also ran track at Harvey and was an 11-time letterman in his three years there.[2]

As Shula prepared to graduate from high school in 1947, many men whose football careers were delayed by service in World War II were returning and competing for athletic scholarships.[1] As a result, Shula was unable to get a scholarship and contemplated working for a year before going to college.[1] That summer, however, he had a chance meeting at a gas station with former Painesville football coach Howard Bauchman, who suggested he ask about a scholarship at John Carroll University.[1] Shula got a one-year scholarship at the private Jesuit school in University Heights, a suburb of Cleveland.[1][2] It was extended to a full scholarship after Shula performed well in his freshman year, including in a win over Youngstown State in October 1948.[1][3] He ran for 175 yards and scored two touchdowns substituting for the injured starting halfback.[3] The same year, Shula considered joining the Catholic priesthood after a three-day retreat at John Carroll, but decided against it because of his commitment to football.[3] During his senior year in 1950, he rushed for 125 yards in a win over a heavily favored Syracuse team.[4]

Playing career

Shula graduated in 1951 as a sociology major with a minor in mathematics, and was offered a job teaching and coaching at Canton Lincoln High School in Canton, Ohio for $3,750 a year ($36,197 in 2019).[1] The Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, however, had selected him in the ninth round of the 1951 draft that January.[5] Cleveland had won the NFL championship the previous year behind a staunch defense and an offense led by quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley and end Dante Lavelli.[6]:177–182 Shula was joined in the Browns' training camp by John Carroll teammate Carl Taseff, whom Cleveland coach Paul Brown selected in the 22nd round.[5][6]:220 Brown made the selections in part because John Carroll coach Herb Eisele attended his coaching clinics and used similar schemes and terminology as Brown did.[1] Shula and Taseff both made the team and were its only two rookies in 1951.[4][6]:220 Shula signed a $5,000-a-year contract and played as a defensive back alongside Warren Lahr and Tommy James.[4][6]:220

Shula played in all 12 of Cleveland's games in 1951, making his first appearance as a starter in October, and recorded four interceptions.[3][7] The Browns, meanwhile, finished with an 11–1 record and advanced to the championship game for a second straight year.[8] The team lost the game 24–17 to the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles.[6]:233–234[8]

Don Shula 1952 National Guard Photograph
Shula served for 11 months in the Ohio National Guard in 1952 during the Korean War.

Shula was a member of an Ohio National Guard unit that was activated the following January amid the Korean War.[3][9] Military service in Ohio and at Fort Polk in Louisiana kept Shula away from football until the unit was deactivated that November.[3] Returning to the Browns, Shula signed a $5,500-a-year contract and played in five games at the end of the season, having become a full-time starter because of injuries to other players.[6]:247[7] The Browns again advanced to the championship game and again lost, this time to the Detroit Lions.[6]:251–253 In early 1953, Brown traded Shula along with Taseff and eight other players to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for five Colts players including tackles Mike McCormack and Don Colo.[6]:264 Before joining Baltimore, Shula finished a master's degree in physical education at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.[10]

Shula signed a $6,500-a-year contract with Baltimore, which was preparing for its first season after relocating from Dallas, where the franchise had been called the Dallas Texans.[3][11] The team replaced an earlier Colts franchise that folded after the 1950 season.[12] The Colts finished with a 3–9 record in 1953 despite leading the NFL in defensive takeaways, including three interceptions by Shula.[7][13] Baltimore continued to struggle the following year under new head coach Weeb Ewbank, a former Browns assistant.[14][15] The team again finished 3–9 for last place in the NFL West, although Shula had a career-high five interceptions.[7][15]

Shula had five interceptions again in 1955, but the Colts finished 5–6–1, well out of contention for the divisional championship.[7][16] Shula missed the final three games of the season because of a broken jaw suffered in a 17–17 tie with the Los Angeles Rams.[3] Ewbank brought in future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas as a backup in 1956, but the Colts posted a losing record even after he became the starter partway through the season.[17] Shula had just one interception that year.[7] The Colts waived Shula at the end of training camp in 1957 season, and the Washington Redskins picked him up.[3][18] Shula spent one season with the Redskins before retiring. In his seven NFL seasons, he played in 73 games, intercepted 21 passes and recovered four fumbles.[7]

Coaching career

Early years (1958–1962)

Shula got his first coaching job shortly after ending his playing career, signing as an assistant at the University of Virginia under Dick Voris in February 1958, before being an assistant at Iowa State University.[3][19] Virginia finished with a 1–9 record that year.[20] Shula got married in the summer before the season to Dorothy Bartish, who grew up near Painesville. Shula and Bartish had begun dating after he graduated from John Carroll; she was working as a teacher in Hawaii when he proposed.[21]

After one season at Virginia, Shula moved to an assistant coaching job at the University of Kentucky in 1959 under head coach Blanton Collier.[3] Collier had been an assistant to Paul Brown when Shula played in Cleveland.[6]:17–18 After one season in Kentucky, Shula got his first NFL coaching job as the defensive backfield coach for the Detroit Lions in 1960.[3] The Lions posted winning records in each of Shula's three seasons there under head coach George Wilson and finished in second place in the NFL West in 1961 and 1962.[22][23][24] Detroit's defense was near the top of the league in fewest points allowed when Shula coached there, including a second-place finish in 1962.[24] The defense also led the league that year in fewest yards allowed, with 3,217.[25] Detroit's defense featured a group of linemen dubbed the "Fearsome Foursome" in 1962, consisting of defensive tackles Roger Brown and Alex Karras and defensive ends Darris McCord and Sam Williams.[25]

Baltimore Colts (1963–1969)

Weeb Ewbank, under whom Shula had played in Cleveland and Baltimore, was fired as the Colts' head coach in 1963 following a string of losing seasons and disagreements over team strategy and organization with owner Carroll Rosenbloom.[26][27] Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom immediately named Shula as the team's next head coach, having recruited him for the job earlier.[26] Shula was only 33 years old, making him the youngest coach in league history at the time, but Rosenbloom was familiar with his personality and approach from his playing days in Baltimore.[27] While Rosenbloom said he realized he was "out on a limb" in hiring Shula, he felt it would bring a sense of team spirit back to the Colts.[27] While Shula had only been an average player, he was "always... taking pictures, talking football", said Rosenbloom. "He had always wanted to coach".[27]

Shula lost his first regular-season game, a September 15 matchup against the Giants.[3] The 1963 Colts won their next game, however, and went on to finish the season with an 8–6 record for third place in the NFL West.[3][28] The team was still led by Unitas, who was Shula's teammate during his final year as a player in Baltimore and had helped the Colts win championships in 1958 and 1959.[17] The team's primary receivers were end Raymond Berry and tight end John Mackey, while defensive end Gino Marchetti anchored the defense.[28]

Shula guided the team to a 12–2 record in his second year as coach.[29]:123 That put the Colts on top of the NFL West and earned a spot in the NFL championship against the Browns, which by then were coached by Collier.[29]:121–123 The Colts were heavily favored to win even by sportswriters in Cleveland, due in large part to their strong receiving corps and Unitas, who had 2,824 passing yards and won the league's Most Valuable Player award.[29]:122[30] Halfback Lenny Moore also had 19 touchdowns, setting an NFL record.[29]:123 In addition to having the NFL's top-scoring offense, the Colts defense allowed the fewest points in the NFL.[29]:124 Before the championship, Collier said Shula had always thought about coaching even during his playing career, giving him "the experience of a man in the profession for ten years."[29]:123 The Colts, however, lost to the Browns 27–0 in the title game.[29]:151 Despite the loss, Shula won the NFL's Coach of the Year Award.[29]:123

The Colts tied the Green Bay Packers with a 10–3–1 record at the end of the 1965 season, forcing a playoff to determine which of them would play in the championship game.[31] The Colts had lost twice to the Packers during the regular season, and Unitas and backup Gary Cuozzo were sidelined by injuries as the playoffs approached.[32] Baltimore got out to a 10–0 lead at halftime while using halfback Tom Matte at quarterback, but the Packers, coached by Vince Lombardi, made a comeback in the second half and tied the score at the end of regulation.[33] The Colts stopped the Packers on their opening drive in the sudden-death overtime, but the ensuing drive ended with a missed field goal by placekicker Lou Michaels.[33] The Packers then drove for a field goal of their own, winning 13–10.[31][33] Shula said after the game that while his team could not expect to execute its usual strategy without Unitas and Cuozzo, the Colts "don't belong in this league" if they could not beat Green Bay once in three tries.[33]

The Colts fell to second place in the NFL West the following season, the first year a Super Bowl was played between the NFL champion and the winner of the rival American Football League.[34] In 1967, the Colts again failed to make the playoffs despite a regular-season record of 11–1–2, losing the newly created Coastal Division on a tiebreaker with the Los Angeles Rams because the Rams scored more points in the games between the two clubs.[35][36][37] The Colts' only loss was a 34–10 setback to the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on the final Sunday of the season.[38] Though the season ended in disappointment, Shula won his second Coach of the Year award, and Unitas was again the league's MVP.[39]

Before the 1968 season began, Unitas injured his elbow and was replaced by backup Earl Morrall.[39] Expectations for Morrall were low, but the veteran quarterback led the Colts to a string of wins at the beginning of the season.[40] Shula tried to ease Unitas back into the lineup, but the quarterback's injury flared up numerous times, culminating with a game against Cleveland when he had just one completion and three interceptions.[40] That turned out to be the only loss of the season for Baltimore, which finished with a league-leading 13–1 record.[41] The Colts beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Western Conference championship game, and then beat the Browns 34–0 in the NFL Championship Game the following week.[41] That set up a matchup with the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. The Jets were led by quarterback Joe Namath, who guaranteed a victory before the game despite being the underdog. New York won the game 16–7.[41]

Shula spent one more season as the head coach of the 8-5-1 Colts, and missed the playoffs. He compiled a 71–23–4 record in seven seasons with Baltimore, but was just 2–3 in the postseason, including upset losses in the 1964 NFL Championship Game and Super Bowl III, where the Colts were heavy favorites.

Miami Dolphins (1970–1995)

After the 1969 season, Joe Robbie, owner of the Miami Dolphins, signed Shula to a contract to become Miami's second head coach. As a result of Shula's signing, the team was charged with tampering by the NFL, which forced the Dolphins to give their first-round pick to the Colts.[42] The decision was controversial because Shula and Robbie's negotiations and signing were conducted before and after the official NFL/AFL merger, respectively. Had the negotiations been concluded before the merger, while the NFL and AFL were rivals, the NFL's antitampering rules could not have been applied.

Shula's Miami teams were known for great offensive lines (led by Larry Little, Jim Langer, and Bob Kuechenberg), strong running games (featuring Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Mercury Morris), solid quarterbacking (by Bob Griese and Earl Morrall), excellent receivers (in Paul Warfield, Howard Twilley, and TE Jim Mandich) and a defense that worked well as a cohesive unit. The Dolphins were known as "The No-Name Defense", though they had a number of great players, including DT Manny Fernandez and MLB Nick Buoniconti.[43]

In 1972, the Dolphins were unbeaten in the regular season, 14–0–0. They swept the playoffs and finished 17–0–0.

Shula changed his coaching strategy as his personnel changed. His Super Bowl teams in 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1982 were keyed by a run-first offensive strategy and a dominating defense. In 1983, shortly after losing Super Bowl XVII to the Washington Redskins, the Dolphins drafted quarterback Dan Marino out of the University of Pittsburgh. Marino won the starting job halfway through the 1983 regular season, and by 1984, the Dolphins were back in the Super Bowl, due largely to Marino's record 5,084 yards through the air and 48 touchdown passes.

For all his success, the Dolphins' January, 1974 Super Bowl win over the Minnesota Vikings proved to be Shula's last championship. Despite consistent success in the regular season, Shula was unable to win in the postseason, failing in 12 trips to the playoffs—including two more Super Bowl appearances—before retiring after the 1995 season.

His retirement following that regular season ended one of the greatest coaching legacies in NFL history. He set numerous records in his 33 seasons as a head coach. He is first in most games coached (526) and most consecutive seasons coached (33). Shula had a 2–4 record in his 6 Super Bowl appearances.

Shula was the head coach of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, which finished a perfect 17–0 and won the Super Bowl VII 14–7 over the Washington Redskins. Shula's 1973 team repeated as NFL champions, winning the 1974 Super Bowl over the Minnesota Vikings. The following season, the Dolphins had a chance to win a third title in three years, but they fell to the Oakland Raiders 28–26, in an AFC divisional playoff game in one of the more popular playoff games ever played. With 35 seconds remaining in the game, Ken Stabler was in the process of being sacked by Vern Den Herder. Just before he was tackled, he threw a completed desperation forward pass to his running back Clarence Davis in the game's final moments, and in doing so, ended Miami's two-year dominance. The Dolphins team was decimated the following season by the creation of the now defunct World Football League and their inability to match contract offers to three of its star players—Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Paul Warfield—to the rival league. The Dolphin franchise has never been able to duplicate the success of 1971–74.

Later life

Shula's Steakhouse Matchbook
Matchbook from Shula's Steakhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, circa 1990

In retirement, Shula has lent his name to a chain of steakhouses, Shula's Steakhouse,[44] and a line of condiments.[45] He appeared in NutriSystem commercials with Dan Marino and other former NFL players.

Shula also has a hotel in Miami Lakes, Florida, which is home to the Original Shula's Steak House, The Senator Course at Shula's Golf Club, The Spa at Shula's, and Shula's Athletic Club. The hotel has 205 guest rooms and specializes in college and professional sport travel.

In 1999, Shula was honored with the "Lombardi Award of Excellence" from the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. The award was created to honor coach Vince Lombardi's legacy, and is awarded annually to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the coach.

In 2003, in San Diego at Super Bowl XXXVII, Shula performed the ceremonial coin toss to end the pregame ceremonies.

As part of a government public awareness campaign, he was the first American to sign up for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan benefits, enrolling just after midnight on November 15, 2005.[46]

In 2007, in Miami Gardens at Super Bowl XLI, Shula took part in the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation.[47] On March 25, 2007, Shula presented the Winners Cup to Tiger Woods, winner of the 2007 WGC-CA Golf Tournament held at the Doral Resort in Miami. On February 3, 2008, he participated in the opening of Super Bowl XLII.

In 2011, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.

At John Carroll University, he endowed the Don Shula Chair in Philosophy, which supports the Philosophy Department by presenting programs of interest to philosophers and the general public.[48]

Personal life

Don Shula & Mary Anne Shula at 2014 MIFF
Don & Mary Anne Shula at the 2014 Miami International Film Festival

Shula married Painesville native Dorothy Bartish on July 19, 1958. They had five children: Dave Shula (b. May 28, 1959), Donna (b. April 28, 1961), Sharon (b. June 30, 1962), Anne (b. May 7, 1964), and Mike Shula (b. June 3, 1965). Dorothy died of breast cancer on February 25, 1991.[3] That same year, the Don Shula Foundation for Breast Cancer Research was founded.[49]

He married Mary Anne Stephens on October 16, 1993. On November 25, 1996, he was added to the Miami Dolphin Honor Roll. In 2007, ads for NutriSystem geared for people age 60 and older featuring the Shulas aired.[50] They reside in Indian Creek, Florida, in the home Mary Anne received in her divorce settlement from her third husband, investment banker Jackson Stephens.[51]

Shula has been deeply religious throughout his life. He said in 1974, at the peak of his coaching career, that he attended mass every morning.[52] Shula once considered becoming a Catholic priest, but decided he could not commit to being both priest and coach.[52]

Legacy

Don Shula Statue
A statue of Shula outside of Hard Rock Stadium

Shula set numerous records in his 33 seasons as a head coach. He is the all-time leader in victories with 347. He is first in most games coached (526), most consecutive seasons coached (33), and Super Bowl losses (four, tied with Bud Grant, Dan Reeves, and Marv Levy). His teams won seven NFL conference titles: 1964, 1968, 1971–73, 1982, and 1984. Shula's teams were consistently among the least penalized in the NFL, and Shula served on the Rules Committee, to help change the game to a more pass-oriented league. He had a winning record against almost every coach he faced, with several exceptions: Levy, against whom he was 5–14 during the regular season and 0–3 in the playoffs; John Madden, against whom he was 2–2 in the regular season and 1–2 in the playoffs for a total of 3–4; and Bill Cowher, against whom Shula was 1–2 late in his career. Don Shula also had losing records against Tom Flores(1-6) Raymond Berry (3-8), Walt Michaels (5-7-1), and Vince Lombardi (5-8).

Shula also holds the distinction of having coached five different quarterbacks to Super Bowl appearances (Johnny Unitas and Earl Morrall in 1968, Bob Griese in 1971, 1972, and 1973, David Woodley in 1982, and Dan Marino in 1984), three of them (Unitas, Griese, and Marino) future Hall of Famers. He also coached Johnny Unitas to another World Championship appearance (in the pre-Super Bowl era) in 1964. The only other NFL coach to approach this distinction is Joe Gibbs, who coached four Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks (Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien), winning three times.

Shula is honored at the Don Shula Stadium at John Carroll University, and the Don Shula Expressway in Miami. An annual college football game between South Florida schools Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University is named the Shula Bowl in his honor. The game's winner receives a traveling trophy named the Don Shula Award. On January 31, 2010, a statue of him was unveiled at Hard Rock Stadium.

Writings

He has co-authored three books: The Winning Edge (1973) with Lou Sahadi ISBN 0-525-23500-0, Everyone's a Coach (1995) ISBN 0-310-20815-7, and The Little Black Book of Coaching: Motivating People to be Winners (2001); ISBN 0-06-662103-8, both with Ken Blanchard (author of The One Minute Manager).

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
BAL 1963 8 6 0 .571 3rd in Western Conference
BAL 1964 12 2 0 .857 1st in Western Conference 0 1 .000 Lost to Cleveland Browns in NFL Championship Game.
BAL 1965 10 3 1 .769 2nd in Western Conference 0 1 .000 Lost to Green Bay Packers in Western Conference Playoff.
BAL 1966 9 5 0 .643 2nd in Western Conference
BAL 1967 11 1 2 .917 2nd in Coastal Division
BAL 1968 13 1 0 .929 1st in Coastal Division 2 1 .667 Won 1968 NFL Championship. Lost to New York Jets in Super Bowl III.
BAL 1969 8 5 1 .615 2nd in Coastal Division
BAL Total 71 23 4 .755 2 3 .400
MIA 1970 10 4 0 .714 2nd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Divisional Game.
MIA 1971 10 3 1 .769 1st in AFC East 2 1 .667 Lost to Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl VI.
MIA 1972 14 0 0 1.000 1st in AFC East 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl VII Champions.
MIA 1973 12 2 0 .857 1st in AFC East 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl VIII Champions.
MIA 1974 11 3 0 .786 1st in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Divisional Game.
MIA 1975 10 4 0 .714 2nd in AFC East
MIA 1976 6 8 0 .429 3rd in AFC East
MIA 1977 10 4 0 .714 2nd in AFC East
MIA 1978 11 5 0 .688 2nd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Houston Oilers in AFC Wild-Card Game.
MIA 1979 10 6 0 .625 1st in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Game.
MIA 1980 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC East
MIA 1981 11 4 1 .733 1st in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to San Diego Chargers in AFC Divisional Game.
MIA 1982* 7 2 0 .778 1st in AFC East 3 1 .750 Lost to Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII.
MIA 1983 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Seattle Seahawks in AFC Divisional Game.
MIA 1984 14 2 0 .875 1st in AFC East 2 1 .667 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XIX.
MIA 1985 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Championship Game.
MIA 1986 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC East
MIA 1987 8 7 0 .533 3rd in AFC East
MIA 1988 6 10 0 .375 5th in AFC East
MIA 1989 8 8 0 .500 2nd in AFC East
MIA 1990 12 4 0 .750 2nd in AFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Divisional Game.
MIA 1991 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC East
MIA 1992 11 5 0 .688 1st in AFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Championship Game.
MIA 1993 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC East
MIA 1994 10 6 0 .625 1st in AFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to San Diego Chargers in AFC Divisional Game.
MIA 1995 9 7 0 .563 3rd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Wild-Card Game.
MIA Total 257 133 2 .659 17 14 .548
Total[53] 328 156 6 .678 19 17 .528

*57-day long players' strike reduced the 1982 season from a 16-game schedule per team to 9

See also

References

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  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "A Don Shula Timeline". CNNSI.com. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
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External links

1965 Pro Bowl

The 1965 Pro Bowl was the NFL's fifteenth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1964 season. The game was played on January 10, 1965, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 60,698. The coaches for the game were Don Shula of Baltimore Colts for the West and Blanton Collier of Cleveland Browns for the East. The West team won by a final score was 34–14.The West dominated the East, 411 to 187 in total yards. West quarterback Fran Tarkenton of the Minnesota Vikings was named "Back of the Game" after he completed 8 of 13 passes for 172 yards. At one point during the game, the West backfield was all-Vikings: Tarkenton (No. 10), Tommy Mason (No. 20), and Bill Brown (No. 30).

"Lineman of the Game" honors went to the West’s Terry Barr of the Detroit Lions; Barr had 106 yards receiving on three receptions.Frank Ryan, the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns' who had defeated the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship Game, was knocked out of the Pro Bowl when he was sacked in the third quarter by a group of defenders including the Colts' Gino Marchetti. Some thought that Marchetti, who was playing in his tenth Pro Bowl, was trying to teach Ryan a lesson for considering running up the score against the Colts in the championship game. Marchetti denied this, and he and Ryan remained on good terms.

1968 Baltimore Colts season

The 1968 Baltimore Colts season was the 16th season for the team in the National Football League. Led by sixth-year head coach Don Shula, they finished the regular season with a record of 13 wins and 1 loss, and won the Western Conference's Coastal division.

The previous season, the Colts' record was 11–1–2, tied for the best in the league, but were excluded from the playoffs. They lost a tiebreaker with the Los Angeles Rams for the Coastal Division title in 1967; the other three teams in the NFL postseason, all division winners, had nine wins each.

In 1968, Baltimore won the Western Conference playoff game with the Minnesota Vikings and the NFL Championship Game in a shutout of the Cleveland Browns, but then lost to the New York Jets of the American Football League in Super Bowl III. Hall of fame quarterback Johnny Unitas had been injured during the pre-season, so Earl Morrall led the offense. Shula decided to bring Unitas back in during the second half of the Super Bowl, to no avail.

1968 Pro Bowl

The 1968 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's eighteenth annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1967 season. The game was played on January 21, 1968, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The final score was West 38, East 20. Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears was named the back of the game for the second year in a row and Dave Robinson of the Green Bay Packers received the lineman of the game honors.

Attendance at the game was 53,289. The game had controversy because East coach Otto Graham of the Washington Redskins benched quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the fourth quarter. Some players questioned the benching of a player of Tarkenton’s stature in a charity game. The coach of the West squad was Don Shula of the Baltimore Colts, who won his second Pro Bowl in four years.

1969 Baltimore Colts season

The 1969 Baltimore Colts season was the 17th season for the team in the National Football League. The Baltimore Colts finished the National Football League's 1969 season with a record of 8 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie. They finished second in the Western Conference's Coastal division.

Coach Don Shula was let go after the season, a disappointing one many attributed to the hangover of losing to the heavy-underdog Jets in the Super Bowl the year before. It is one of the first instances of a Super Bowl hangover – in which the team that played in a Super Bowl the previous season, underperforms the next season.

1970 Miami Dolphins season

The 1970 Miami Dolphins season was the team's fifth, and first in the National Football League (NFL). The 1970 season marked the team's first winning season, and their first playoff appearance. The 1970 season was also the first season under head coach Don Shula, as he would be the head coach of the franchise until 1995, a span of 25 years as head coach. The team improved on their 3-10-1 record from 1969, and finished the season 10-4, second in the newly aligned AFC East to only eventual champion Baltimore. The Dolphins would get off to a fresh start, starting 4-1 before losing 3 straight to even their record at 4-4. However, Miami would whip off 6 straight to end the season and clinch their first ever winning season and playoff berth. In their first playoff game, they lost 21-14 in the Divisional Round to the Oakland Raiders, ending Miami's season.

1982 Pro Bowl

The 1982 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 32nd annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1981 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 31, 1982, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii in front of a crowd of 49,521. The final score was AFC 16, NFC 13.Don Shula of the Miami Dolphins led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach John McKay. The referee was Red Cashion.The NFC gained a 13-13 tie with 2:43 to go when Tony Dorsett ran four yards for a touchdown. In the drive to the game-winning field goal, Dan Fouts completed 3 passes, including a 23-yarder to Kellen Winslow that put the ball on the NFC's 5-yard line to set up a 23-yard game winning field goal by Nick Lowery to earn AFC a victory.

Kellen Winslow of the San Diego Chargers and Lee Roy Selmon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were named the game's Most Valuable Players. The referee was Red Cashion.Players on the winning AFC team received $5,000 apiece while the NFC participants each took home $2,500. The total number of tickets sold for the game was 50,402 which set a new ticket sales record for Aloha Stadium.

1986 Pro Bowl

The 1986 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 36th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1985 season. The game was played on Sunday, February 2, 1986, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,101. The final score was NFC 28, AFC 24.Don Shula of the Miami Dolphins led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by Los Angeles Rams head coach John Robinson. The referee was Bob McElwee.Phil Simms of the New York Giants was named the game's MVP. Players on the winning NFC team received $10,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $5,000.

1988 Miami Dolphins season

The 1988 Miami Dolphins season was the team's 23rd as a member of the National Football League (NFL). The Dolphins failed to improve upon their previous season's output of 8–7, winning only six games and failing to reach the playoffs for the third straight season.

Even without future Pro Football Hall of Fame center Dwight Stephenson, who was forced to retire prior to this season due to injuries, the Dolphins offensive line set the record for fewest sacks in a single season with 7 during 1988, protecting quarterback Dan Marino. Marino was only sacked on 0.98% of his dropbacks in 1988, also a single-season NFL record.This would be the last time Don Shula recorded a losing record during his tenure as Dolphins coach, and in his coaching career overall.

1989 Miami Dolphins season

The 1989 Miami Dolphins season was the team's 24th as a member of the National Football League (NFL). The Dolphins improved upon their previous season's 6–10 W-L record, winning eight games. Despite this improvement they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, tying the longest such record in franchise history when the Dolphins failed to make the playoffs from 1966 to 1969. This was also the longest such record for coach Don Shula in his NFL career.

Shortly after the season ended, Miami Dolphins founder Joe Robbie died on January 7, 1990, at the age of 73.

Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year Award

The Associated Press National Football League Coach of the Year Award is presented annually by the Associated Press (AP) to the National Football League (NFL) coach adjudged to have had the most outstanding season. It has been awarded since the 1957 season. Since 2011, the winner has been announced at the annual NFL Honors ceremony held the day before the Super Bowl.

Don Shula has won the most AP NFL Coach of the Year awards, receiving four during his 33-year head coaching career: three with the Baltimore Colts and one with the Miami Dolphins. Chuck Knox and Bill Belichick have each been awarded three times. The incumbent AP NFL Coach of the Year is Matt Nagy, who led the Chicago Bears to the playoffs after a surprising turnaround, inheriting a team that went 5–11 the previous year and leading them to an 12–4 record and division title.

Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award is awarded annually to a high school football head coach in the United States that displays "the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula." It was created by the National Football League Foundation and first awarded for 2010, known then as the Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award, and coaches from the high school, college, and professional levels were eligible to receive it. It became an exclusively high school award in 2011 when it was awarded as part of the 1st Annual NFL Honors. Each of the 32 teams in the National Football League nominate a high school coach for each season's award. Two finalists each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation with $10,000 going to the schools' football programs.

Don Shula Stadium

Don Shula Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located on the campus of John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland. Don Shula Stadium is home to the Division III Blue Streaks of John Carroll University and has an official capacity of 5,416 spectators. It also serves as a home for many of the school's varsity, club and intramural athletic programs. The facility is named for Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and former NFL player, Don Shula. Shula was a cornerback for the Blue Streaks in the late 1940s and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1951 NFL Draft.

Florida State Road 874

State Road 874 (SR 874), named the Don Shula Expressway for its length, is an electronic toll road in southern Miami-Dade County, Florida. It extends 7 miles (11 km) northeast from the Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike (HEFT) in southwestern Kendall to the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) in Glenvar Heights, allowing traffic from the far south of Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys to move to more central regions of metropolitan Miami and vice versa, bypassing communities along U.S. Route 1, while also permitting local access to the Kendall district. The road, named in honor of the long-serving coach of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, is maintained and tolled by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX). Contrary to the numbering plan of Florida State Roads, SR 874 is signed north–south.

Florida State Road 878

State Road 878 (SR 878), named the Snapper Creek Expressway or the Snapper Creek Tollway for its entire length, is a 2.7-mile-long (4.3 km) east–west electronic toll road south of Miami, Florida. The expressway is named for the nearby Snapper Creek which runs parallel to SR 878. It acts as a spur route of the Don Shula Expressway (SR 874), providing access to U.S. Route 1 (US 1) near South Miami and local access to the eastern Kendall area while bypassing the Dadeland district. The road is maintained and tolled by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX).

John Carroll Blue Streaks football

The John Carroll Blue Streaks football program is the intercollegiate American football team for John Carroll University located in the U.S. state of Ohio. They compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division III level and are members of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC). The team was established in 1920 and plays its home games at the 5,416 seat Don Shula Stadium. As of the 2016 season, John Carroll has won 11

Conference titles, 4 in their current conference, the OAC.

List of Miami Dolphins head coaches

The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football franchise based in Miami Gardens, Florida. They are members of the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Dolphins began play in 1966 as an expansion team in the American Football League (AFL), and joined the NFL as part of the AFL–NFL merger. The team has played their home games at Hard Rock Stadium, originally known as Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Landshark Stadium, and Sun Life Stadium, since 1987. The Dolphins are currently owned by Stephen M. Ross.There have been twelve head coaches for the Dolphins franchise. The team's first head coach was George Wilson, who coached for four complete seasons. Don Shula, who coached the Dolphins for 26 consecutive seasons, is the franchise's all-time leader for the most regular-season games coached (392), the most regular-season game wins (257), the most playoff games coached (31), and the most playoff-game wins (17). Shula is also the only Dolphins head coach to win a Super Bowl with the team, winning two. He was named the United Press International (UPI) NFL Coach of the Year twice during his tenure with the Dolphins. Shula is also the only Dolphins coach to have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a coach. Adam Gase is the franchise's most recent head coach, being fired after the final game of the 2018 season due to a more than embarrassing loss to the Bills.

Miami-Dade Expressway Authority

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) is an independent agency created in December 1994 by the State of Florida and the Miami-Dade County Commission. Since 1997 MDX has operated and maintained five expressways formerly operated by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT):

Gratigny Parkway (SR 924)

Airport Expressway (SR 112)

Dolphin Expressway (SR 836)

Don Shula Expressway (SR 874)

Snapper Creek Expressway (SR 878)All five expressways are all electronic toll roads, requiring the use of SunPass or a "toll-by-plate" program and do not accept cash, and the free movement sections were removed. The Gratigny Parkway, Don Shula Expressway, and Snapper Creek Expressway became all electronic in 2010, while the Airport Expressway and Dolphin Expressway were converted 2014.Completely funded by toll revenues, MDX has been aggressively upgrading and updating its roads over the past decade, including the ongoing Dolphin Expressway extension (the first phase was completed in 2007) and re-engineering of several interchanges of its two oldest expressways (the Airport and Dolphin). Long-term plans include the redesign and reconstruction of longtime bottlenecks in the Shula and Dolphin Expressways, most notably the often-backed-up Killian Parkway/SR 990 interchange near Miami Dade College-Kendall Campus and the heavily congested interchange with the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) near the extreme southwestern end of Miami International Airport.

National Football League Coach of the Year Award

The National Football League Coach of the Year Award is presented annually by various news and sports organizations to the National Football League (NFL) head coach who has done the most outstanding job of working with the talent he has at his disposal. Currently, the most widely recognized award is presented by the Associated Press (AP), although in the past several awards received press recognition. First presented in 1957, the AP award did not include American Football League (AFL) teams. The Sporting News has given a pro football coach of the year award since 1947 and in 1949 gave its award to a non-NFL coach, Paul Brown of the All-America Football Conference's Cleveland Browns. Other NFL Coach of the Year awards are presented by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America and the Maxwell Football Club. The United Press International (UPI) NFL Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1955. From 1960 to 1969, before the AFL–NFL merger, an award was also given to the most outstanding coach from the AFL. When the leagues merged in 1970, separate awards were given to the best coaches from the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC). The UPI discontinued the awards after 1996.

Shula Bowl

The Shula Bowl is the name given to the Florida Atlantic–Florida International football rivalry. It is an annual college football rivalry game between the Florida Atlantic University Owls and the Florida International University Panthers. The game's winner receives a traveling trophy, the "Don Shula Award," for one year. The current winner is Florida Atlantic, winning 49–14 on November 3, 2018. Florida Atlantic leads the all-time series twelve games to four.The game and trophy are named after former Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula. Don Shula was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 1970 to 1995. Each school's first head coach has previous ties to Don Shula. Florida Atlantic's first head coach Howard Schnellenberger was an assistant of Shula in the 1970s, and FIU's first head coach Don Strock was a player under Shula in the 1970s and 1980s. Don Shula set numerous records as head coach of the Miami Dolphins and his legacy is seen throughout the Miami area. The Shula Bowl pays homage to Shula, to South Florida football and the ties and history of both universities.

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