Shula led Miami to the NFL's first flawless season in 1972, finishing with a 17-0 record and a 14-7 victory against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. No other team has since matched that accomplishment; the 2007 Patriots went unbeaten until losing in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. However, two other teams have finished with perfect records: the 1999 Rams and the 1948 Eagles. The 1972 Dolphins also holds the record for most wins without a loss or tie - called the "Perfect Season" by some fans and journalists who cover the team.
Don Shula started his career as a coach in the NFL in 1955, when he served as an assistant under Hank Stram at Chicago. After three seasons there, Shula moved on to Baltimore, where he stayed for four years. In 1959, he returned to Chicago, this time as head coach, and he stayed there until he took over the Miami job in 1971. He died in October 2016 at the age of 90.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins were arguably the best football team ever assembled. A classic West Coast offense powered by veteran playmakers like Larry Csonka, Dave Meggett, Jim Kiick, and Nick Buoniconti saw to that. The only blemish on their record came from a game against Pittsburgh in which they lost Steve Owens to injury. Without him, they fell short of a perfect season.
Shula owns the NFL record for coaching in six Super Bowls, although his teams only won two of them. The 1972 Miami Dolphins finished their historic 17-0-0 season—the only perfect season in NFL history—with a 14-7 victory against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. It was the first championship for Miami and the first for head coach Don Shula.
In five other seasons, four as a head coach and one as a senior adviser, Shula led chargeable teams that never made it past the conference championship game. He is 24-14 in those games.
The most memorable of these campaigns came with the 1995-96 Jacksonville Jaguars. Under Shula's guidance, they began the season with 10 wins and ended it with 12. They were the first team to achieve this feat. The Jaguars also had three other winning seasons under Shula: 1992, 1993, and 1996.
He was fired after the 1997 season and took over as coach at the University of Miami the next year. He retired from there after three seasons, having won 80 percent (30-out-of-38) of his games.
As a head coach, Shula was 178-90-1. He went 182-88-6 in his career.
His overall record is 228-152-3. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Shula owns the NFL record for coaching in six Super Bowls, although his teams only won two of them. The 1972 Miami Dolphins finished their historic 17-0-0 season—the only perfect season in NFL history—with a 14-7 victory against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.
Sports Illustrated awarded Shula Sportsman of the Year in 1993. In his 33-year NFL coaching tenure, he only had two losing seasons. He guided his teams to six Super Bowl victories.
Shula's first Super Bowl appearance came in 1969 with the Colts, an NFL juggernaut managed by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas. The Colts were clear favorites over the New York Jets, who were AFL upstarts headed by flashy quarterback Joe Namath.
That's just one extraordinary accomplishment from Shula, whose 347 victories set an NFL record. Shula, the only perfect team in NFL history, died on Monday. He was 90 years old. Because of your privacy choices, this material is not available.
Only Shula and the legendary George Halas have 300 victories in the NFL. Shula led the Colts to seven consecutive winning seasons, and his Dolphins only finished below.500 twice in 26 years in Miami. Shula's teams made the playoffs 20 times in 33 years, winning at least ten games 21 times. He was one of the most successful coaches of all time.
Shula started out as an assistant coach for the Baltimore Colts under Frank "Horse" Bowman. The Colts played in the new American Football League (AFL). When the AFL merged with the NFL in 1970, the merged league renamed its teams' organizations to their current names. Thus, Shula became the first full-time coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
He turned them into a winning team by using simple but effective running back Ed Jones and wide receiver John Mackey along with a tough defense that included future Hall of Famers Alan Page and Gary Brackett. The Colts won their first NFL championship in 1971 after they defeated New York Jets in the final game of the season. They lost the Super Bowl the following year when they were defeated by San Francisco 49ers 0-10.
After two more losing seasons, the city of Indianapolis got its second professional sports championship in 1976 when Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics defeated Dallas in five games to win the NBA title. The Colts returned to the playoffs the next year but were eliminated by the Chicago Bears 3-16.
Shula coached teams to a record six Super Bowls, including two victories with the Miami Dolphins (1972 and 1973), and he was the first coach to reach three consecutive Super Bowls (1971–73). He also has the most wins of any NFL coach with 597 victories. The Dolphins selected Shula with their first-ever draft choice in 1969, and he led them to a 10-6 record his first season. In 1970, his second year at the helm, he improved the team's win total by one game over 1969 while reaching the playoffs for the first time.
In 1971, Shula won his third straight division title and reached the Super Bowl for the third time. However, the Dolphins were defeated by Green Bay in that game. In 1972, his last season with the Dolphins, he led them to an 11-5 record and back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history. They lost to San Diego in both games. After the season, Shula was fired by owner Joe Robbie after allegations of player abuse arose. One such allegation involved hitting quarterback Jim Kelly during practice. An investigation conducted by the NFL found "no evidence" that Kelly had been hurt as a result of the incident, but it did conclude that Shula had hit him.