DON SHULA

DON SHULA

Class of 1997
Coach
(John Carroll)
1963-1969 Baltimore Colts, 1970-1995 Miami Dolphins

Donald Francis Shula. . .Winningest coach in NFL history. . . Regular-season record: 328-156-6, .676. . .Overall record: 347-173-6, .665. . . Became head coach at age 33. . .Led Colts to seven straight winning records. . .In 26 years in Miami, experienced only two seasons below .500. . .Coached in six Super Bowls. . .Won Super Bowls VII, VIII. . . Completed only 17-0 perfect season in NFL history, 1972. . .Played seven season as defensive back/halfback with Browns, Colts, Redskins. . . Born January 4, 1930, in Grand River, Ohio.

Don Shula’s record as head coach of the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1969 and the Miami Dolphins from 1970 to 1995 is unmatched in NFL history. In 1995, he concluded his 33rd season as the winningest NFL head coach ever with a career mark of 347-173-6 (.665).

Of all NFL coaches, only Shula and the immortal George Halas attained 300 victories. The Colts under Shula enjoyed seven straight winning seasons and in 26 years at Miami, Shula’s Dolphins experienced only two seasons below .500. Shula’s team reached the playoffs 20 times in 33 years and his teams won at least 10 games 21 times.

Shula holds the NFL record for having coached in six Super Bowls but his teams won only twice. In Super Bowl VII, the 1972 Dolphins completed their historic 17-0-0 campaign – the only perfect season in NFL history – with a 14-7 win over the Washington Redskins. In 1973, Miami defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII to culminate a two-season span when the Dolphins won 32 of 34 games.

Shula, who was born January 4, 1930, in Grand River, Ohio, played college football at John Carroll University in Cleveland and then became one of two rookies on Coach Paul Brown’s 1951 Cleveland Browns team. In 1953, Shula moved to the Baltimore Colts as part of an historic 15-player trade. He played cornerback for the Colts for four seasons and for the Washington Redskins in 1957 before turning to coaching as a college assistant.

He returned to pro football in 1960 as the Detroit Lions defensive coordinator. In 1963, Shula was hired as head coach of the Baltimore Colts. At 33, he was the then-youngest head coach in NFL history.

In seven years, he led the Colts to a 73-26-4 record and playoff appearances three years. In 1970, he made a major career move when he took over the Dolphins in only their fifth season. Almost immediately, he turned the Miami team into a perpetual winner.

Team Year
W
L
T
PCT.
W
L
PCT. W L T PCT  
Baltimore 1963
8
6
0
.571
              3rd - Western Conf.
Baltimore 1964
12
2
0
.857
0
1
          1st - Western Conf.
Baltimore 1965
10
3
1
.750
0
1
          2nd - Western Conf.
Baltimore 1966
9
5
0
.643
              2nd - Western Conf.
Baltimore 1967
11
1
2
.857
              2nd - Coastal
Baltimore 1968
13
1
0
.929
2
1
          1st - Coastal
Baltimore 1969
8
5
1
.607
              2nd - Coastal
Miami 1970
10
4
0
.714
0
1
          2nd - AFC East
Miami 1971
10
3
1
.750
2
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1972
14
0
0
1.000
3
0
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1973
12
2
0
.857
3
0
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1974
11
3
0
.786
0
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1975
10
4
0
.714
              2nd - AFC East
Miami 1976
6
8
0
.429
              3rd - AFC East
Miami 1977
10
4
0
.714
              2nd - AFC East
Miami 1978
11
5
0
.688
0
1
          2nd - AFC East
Miami 1979
10
6
0
.625
0
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1980
8
8
0
.500
              3rd - AFC East
Miami 1981
11
4
1
.719
0
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1982
7
2
0
.778
3
1
          2nd - AFC*
Miami 1983
12
4
0
.750
0
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1984
14
2
0
.875
2
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1985
12
4
0
.750
1
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1986
8
8
0
.500
              3rd - AFC East
Miami 1987
8
7
0
.533
              3rd - AFC East
Miami 1988
6
10
0
.375
              5th - AFC East
Miami 1989
8
8
0
.500
              3rd - AFC East
Miami 1990
12
4
0
.750
1
1
          2nd - AFC East
Miami 1991
8
8
0
.500
              3rd - AFC East
Miami 1992
11
5
0
.688
1
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1993
9
7
0
.563
              2nd - AFC East
Miami 1994
10
6
0
.625
1
1
          1st - AFC East
Miami 1995
9
7
0
.563
0
1
          3rd - AFC East
Baltimore Total
71
23
4
.745
2
3
.400
73
26
4
.728
 
Miami Total
257
133
2
.658
17
14
.548
274
147
2
.650
 
Career Total
328
156
6
.676
19
17
.528
347
173
6
.665
 

* Strike year format

 

Championship Games

1964 NFL – Cleveland Browns 27, Baltimore Colts 0
1968 NFL – Baltimore Colts 34, Cleveland Browns 0
1971 AFC – Miami Dolphins 21, Baltimore Colts 0
1972 AFC – Miami Dophins 21, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
1973 AFC – Miami Dolphins 27, Oakland Raiders 10
1982 AFC – Miami Dolphins 14, New York Jets 0
1984 AFC – Miami Dolphins 45, Pittsburgh Steelers 28
1985 AFC – New England Patriots 31, Miami Dolphins 14
1992 AFC – Buffalo Bills 29, Miami Dolphins
10

Super Bowls

Super Bowl III – New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7
Super Bowl VI – Dallas Cowboys 24, Miami Dolphins 3
Super Bowl VII – Miami Dolphins 14, Washington Redskins 7
Super Bowl VIII – Miami Dolphins 24, Minnesota Vikings 7
Super Bowl XVII – Washington Redskins 27, Miami Dolphins 17
Super Bowl XIX – San Francisco 49ers 38,
Miami Dolphins 16

(at the time of his retirement following the 1995 season)

[1st] Most Regular Season Victories, Career – 328
[1st] Most Victories, Career – 347
[1st] Most Super Bowl Appearances as Head Coach – 6
[Tied for 1st] Most Postseason Games, Coach – 36

NFL Coach of the Year

•1964 (United Press International, The Sporting News)
•1968 (United Press International, The Sporting News)
•1970 (The Sporting News)
•1971 (PFWA)
•1972 (The Sporting News)

AFC Coach of the Year

•1970 (United Press International)
•1971 (United Press International)
•1972 (PFWA)

Other

•1993 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year

Full Name: Donald Francis Shula

Birthdate: January 4, 1930

Birthplace: Grand River, Ohio

High School: Harvey (Painesville, OH)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 25, 1997

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 26, 1997

Presenter:
David and Mike Shula, Don's sons

Other Members of Class of 1997:Mike Haynes, Wellington Mara, Mike Webster

Coaching Career: 33 seasons, 526 games (includes postseason games)

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