Hall of Fame coach and Miami Dolphins icon Don Shula passed away at the age of 90.
He was the winningest coach in the history of the NFL with 347 victories over a 33-year career, 26 with the Dolphins and winning two Super Bowls. The 1972 Dolphins remain the NFL’s only team to go undefeated.
"Don Shula will always be remembered as one of the greatest coaches and contributors in the history of our game,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
Current Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also shared his praise in a statement:
"If there were a Mt. Rushmore for the NFL, Don Shula certainly would be chiseled into the granite.”
Miami Heat president Pat Riley offered his respects too, “There was no better man or coach in the history of the profession than Coach Don Shula. He was tough, courageous, and an authentic leader with great integrity in his pursuit of perfection, which he achieved!”
Shula made six Super Bowl appearances, one with the Colts in Super Bowl III and then five with the Dolphins in Super Bowls VI, VII, VIII, XVII, and XIX—the last in 1984 was the only one Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino appeared in during his 13 seasons with the Dolphins.
"Coach Shula will truly be missed,” Marino said in a statement. “He embodied the definition of 'greatness.' He brought that winning attitude with him every day and made everyone around him better. I want to thank him for always believing in me. He made me a better player and person. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Shula family."
Shula took over the Dolphins in 1970 after guiding the Baltimore Colts for seven seasons. He took the Dolphins to three consecutive Super Bowls 1971-73.
“He changed everything when he got to Miami,” former Dolphins Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka said in a statement. “He simply would not accept losing. To me, the most memorable moment with him wasn't any of our wins, but after a loss in Super Bowl VI. Right after the game, when it was only the players and coaches in the locker room, he said, 'I want every one of you to remember how you feel right now, so that you never feel this way again. I want to go into next year with the goal of doing everything we can to win each of the games we get ready to play.'”
The Dolphins won 64.8 percent of their games under Shula with a 274-147-2 record including the playoffs where they made 16 appearances before he retired in 1995.