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Legendary coach Don Shula dead at 90: He was NFL’s winningest coach and National Guard vet

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula (center) poses for a photo with a group of service members at the Pat Tillman United Service Organizations, a building on Bagram Air Field, July 15, during a celebrity visit to Afghanistan. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Michael Greenberger, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
May 04, 2020

Legendary Hall of Fame NFL coach Don Shula died on Monday at the age of 90.

Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson first reported the news, citing confirmation from Shula’s children.

Shula is known as the winningest coach in NFL history with 347 career wins.

The Miami Dolphins confirmed his death and released a statement saying, “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. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children, Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike.”

Shula began his NFL career as a player from 1951 to 1957, in stints with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Washington Redskins. Shortly after his football career began, it was interrupted by an 11-month period of service in the Ohio National Guard when his unit was activated during the Korean War

His coaching career began in 1958 with two years as a collegiate coach with the University of Virginia and then the University of Kentucky. He began his NFL coaching career as a defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions in 1960. He then became the head coach for the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1969, then for the Miami Dolphins from 1970 to 1995.

Shula led the Dolphins to two Super Bowl victories in 1972 and 1973, in addition to a perfect 17-0 season in 1972. He also led the team to five AFC Championships.

Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

He holds numerous other recognitions and awards.