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Don Shula, as coach of the Miami Dolphins, is known as the most winning-est football coach of the NFL.
Donald Francis Shula was born in January 1930 in Grand River, Ohio. Shula played football in high school and then in college at John Carroll University. Ironically, Don was not a starting player. His first stint as a professional player began in 1951 at the age of 21 for the Cleveland Browns. His career as a pro ended 7 years later with the Washington Redskins. During these 7 years he played in only 73 games.
His coaching career began at the college level for a brief few years. It wasn’t until 1963 that he became head coach of the Baltimore Colts, where, over a 7 year period, his record was 71 wins, 23 losses, a 7 year winning season. He left the Colts to coach a then young team who were in their 5th season as a professional team. This head coach job was for the Miami Dolphins where he spent the remaining years of his coaching career.
From 1970 to 1995, Don Shula, as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, amassed an impressive record of feats. During this time his team played in a 6 Super Bowl games, where he maintains the record for having coached that number of games. They were only victorious in 2 of these events. Those games were in 1973 against the Washington Redskins 14-7 and in 1974 a 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Don Shula’s record holds today at 300 career wins. The Miami Dolphins, in his 26 years of leadership, had only 2 of those years below.500 and a total of 7 straight winning seasons. Shula’s team reached the playoffs 20 times and won 10 of them in his 33 years of coaching.
Shula won Football Coach of the Year 3 times, in 1964 and 1968 as coach of the Baltimore Colts and in 1971 as coach of the Miami Dolphins. It wasn’t until 1997 that Don Shula was inducted into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame, the winning-est coach of the National Football League.
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