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Reactions Around the League on Don Shula

Reactions Around the League on Don Shula

05/05/2020
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Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick on Don Shula

"Don Shula is one of the all-time great coaching figures and the standard for consistency and leadership in the NFL," Belichick said in a statement. "I was fortunate to grow up in Maryland as a fan of the Baltimore Colts who, under Coach Shula, were one of the outstanding teams of that era. My first connection to Coach Shula was through my father, whose friendship with Coach Shula went back to their days in northeast Ohio. I extend my deepest condolences to the Shula family and the Dolphins organization."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Don Shula

Don Shula will always be remembered as one of the greatest coaches and contributors in the history of our game,” Goodell said. “He made an extraordinarily positive impact on so many lives. The winningest coach in NFL history and the only one to lead a team to a perfect season, Coach Shula lived an unparalleled football life. As a player, Hall of Fame coach, and long-time member and co-chair of the NFL Competition Committee, he was a remarkable teacher and mentor who for decades inspired excellence and exemplified integrity

Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II on Don Shula

"I am saddened to learn of the passing of Don Shula. In my opinion, Coach Shula is on the Mount Rushmore of NFL head coaches and his coaching career impacted so many people on and off the field. His recommendation to my grandfather and father was a key to hiring Chuck Noll. I know both had great respect for Coach Shula and all of the outstanding contributions he made to the NFL.

Statement from Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay

"Today is a sad day for the NFL and the entire sports world with the passing of Don Shula. There are few in the 100-year history of the NFL who have had a more positive influence on the game itself than Coach Shula. In addition to his record-setting tenure with the Miami Dolphins, he helped establish the Colts as one of the great franchises in all of sports.

"One of my most special memories is of meeting Don for the first time in 1972 in the Orange Bowl. He was larger than life, of course; and to me he always will remain so.

"He was an extraordinary father, husband, grandfather and human being who will be missed by all of us. Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Shula family as well as our sincerest thanks for sharing his wonderful life with sports fans everywhere

"Our thoughts are prayers with the entire Shula family as he will be missed by the entire NFL community."

Statement from Saints owner Gayle Benson

"Don Shula embodied everything that so many of us love about the National Football League. First, he valued his faith and family as two of the most important parts of his life. Those ideals shaped the man he was and along with those characteristics, he was a leader of men, which combined with his football acumen, allowed him to execute his vision and successfully build the Miami Dolphins franchise into a dynasty in the 1970's. Not only that, but his vast charitable contributions to the South Florida community made his name synonymous with the entire region and the Miami Dolphins organization to this day. On behalf of the New Orleans Saints, our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Mary Anne and his children."

Sports Illustrated on Don Shula

Don Shula was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1993, the only pro coach to ever get that honor.

Do not—repeat, do not—challenge Shula on a football matter unless you're on very firm ground. Naturally, I repeated my mistakes. When the Dolphins traveled to Foxboro, Mass., to play the New England Patriots in 1986, Miami was struggling and things were sensitive, although I wasn't bright enough to figure that out. Shula and I took a walk near the team hotel. The New England foliage was in full color. It was one of those mellow moments when you feel you can say just about anything. Yeah, sure.

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