While largely known for his success in the NFL, Don Shula cut his coaching teeth at the collegiate level.
Monday, the Miami Dolphins confirmed that Don Shula died at 90. The Ohio-born Shula was the head coach of the Dolphins from 1970-95. With 328, he is the winningest coach in NFL history. He also authored the only unbeaten season in NFL history.
Shula played his college football at John Carroll University in Ohio. Following a seven-year playing career in the NFL (1951-57), Shula embarked on his coaching career when he was hired as an assistant at Virginia in February of 1958. The following season, he moved on to Kentucky for one year. He left UK in 1960 to become the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions, the start of what was a 36-year stint in the NFL.
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) May 4, 2020
Shula was the father of five children, including two sons who went into the coaching profession.
While mainly an NFL assistant, Mike Shula infamously spent nearly four seasons as the head coach at Alabama from 2003-06. After posting a 10-23 record, Shula was fired. His replacement? Nick Saban, of course. Coincidentally, Saban was the coach of Shula’s father’s former team, the Dolphins, when he left for the Crimson Tide.
The world of college football also mourned the loss of Don Shula.
“On behalf of the entire University of Miami family, we extend our sympathy to the family and friends of the great Don Shula,” a statement from Miami athletic director Blake James began. “Coach was an iconic community leader who helped change the face of our beloved City. He will forever be in our hearts.”
Our sincerest condolences go out to the Shula family and the Dolphins organization. pic.twitter.com/6y7bnZqzv7
— FAU Football (@FAU_Football) May 4, 2020