Shula eclipses Halas' hallowed record
When the Miami Dolphins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on November 14, 1993, one of pro football's most cherished records was erased from the record book.
The Dolphins' win gave Don Shula his 325th victory in 31 years as a pro football coach and thus the fabled George Halas' decades-old mark of 324 coaching wins in 40 years with the Chicago Bears went the way of all records that 'are made to be broken.'
Shula's pro football career actually began as a player. A graduate of John Carroll University in Cleveland, Shula was a ninth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 1951. As a defensive back, he intercepted 21 passes in his seven-year playing career with the Browns, the Baltimore Colts and Washington Redskins. He retired after the 1957 season to go into college coaching, first with the University of Virginia in 1958 and then with the University of Kentucky in 1959. He moved to the Detroit Lions as an assistant from 1960 to 1962 and then was tapped as the new coach to replace Weeb Ewbank with the Baltimore Colts in 1963. At 33, he was the youngest head coach in the NFL's modern era.
During his seven years with the Colts, a tenure that ended after the 1969 season, Shula compiled a 71-23-4 regular season record. His Colts finished first in their division four times. Shula moved to the Dolphins in 1970 and, while his teams have been consistent contenders - they finished under .500 only two times in 26 seasons - he enjoyed his most spectacular successes ever in his first six seasons in Miami. Tops, of course, was the 17-0-0 perfect season in 1972 but the Dolphins won more than 10 games each season and had an .804 winning percentage (67-16-1) for those years. Shula, whose Dolphins won Super Bowls VII and VIII, is the only coach to have had teams in six Super Bowls.
After 33 seasons as a head coach in the NFL, Shula retired following the 1995 season. His regular season mark of 328-156-6 combined with a 19-17 post-season record gives the legendary coach a career mark of 347 wins, 173 losses and 6 ties. Just as Halas' mark stood the test of time, Shula''s career coaching wins should very well hold for decades.
Don Shula's Career Coaching Milestones
First Win: September 22, 1963 at San Francisco 49ers, 20-14
100th Win: October 15, 1972 vs. San Diego Chargers, 24-10
200th Win: November 8, 1981 at New England Patriots, 30-27 (OT)
300th Win: September 22, 1991 vs. Green Bay Packers, 16-13
324th Win: October 31, 1993 vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 30-10
325th Win: November 14, 1993 at Philadelphia Eagles, 19-14
Shula's Record Against Some Hall of Fame Coaches