Don Shula, winningest coach in NFL history, dies at 90

Elisha Fieldstadt
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula on the Red Carpet at the 2017 NFL Honors on February 04, 2017, at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas.
Rich Graessle | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history and Hall of Fame inductee, died Monday morning, according to the Miami Dolphins.

He was 90 years old.

A tweet from the Dolphins said Shula "passed away peacefully at his home."

"Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years," the team said in a statement. "He brought the winning edge to our franchise and put the Dolphins and the city of Miami on the national sports scene. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children, Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike."

Mary Anne Shula said Sunday that Shula had been admitted to the hospital "due to fluid retention and sleep apnea."


Shula, who coached the Dolphins from 1970–1995, led the team the only perfect season in NFL history in 1972. They won the Super Bowl the next year too.

Shula was awarded coach of the year four times. He finished with 328 regular-season wins and 19 playoff victories, according to NBC Sports. His win rate in the regular season was more than two out of every three games played.

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Shula had played defensive back for the Browns, Colts, and Redskins. He also served as the Lions' defensive coordinator and the head coach of the Colts.

"The Game has lost one of the greats today, but we have all lost a truly incredible man," said Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker in a statement. "Coach Shula was a man who truly loved the game and I have often been moved by the deep respect and affection he was always afforded by the men who played for him."

The Hall of Fame flag at the museum will be flown at half-staff in Shula's memory, Baker said.

"Today is a sad day. Coach Shula was the rare man who exemplified true greatness in every aspect of his life," Tom Garfinkel, the vice chairman, president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium said in a statement. "He will be so missed by so many but his legacy of character and excellence will endure."