Don Shula, legendary Dolphins coach, dies at 90

As if the year 2020 couldn’t get any worse. Miami Dolphins legendary Hall of Fame coach Don Shula passed away this morning; he was 90 years old. A source told the Miami Herald it was not related to the coronavirus.

Shula coached the Dolphins after a stint from 1963 to 1969 with the Baltimore Colts, now known as the Indianapolis Colts. He coached the Dolphins for 26 seasons from 1970 to 1995 and only had a losing record in two of those seasons.

Shula was the most triumphant coach in NFL history with 328 regular-season and 19 playoff victories. He won back-to-back Super Bowls in the 1972 and 1973 NFL seasons. The ‘72 season was the most remarkable in NFL history as the Dolphins went 17-0. A feat that hasn’t been achieved again since then.

Shula was a winner in Miami and the best hire former owner Joe Robbie ever made. He personified excellence and was the definition of success. It didn’t matter when, where or how. His teams simply won. In fact, after coming off a Super Bowl loss to the Washington Redskins in the 82’ season, Shula drafted a young QB out of Pittsburgh to lead the team’s future. That QB? Dan Marino. A pick highly criticized at the time. Marino led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in the 84’ season, losing to the San Francisco 49ers. He went on to be one of the greatest QBs of all time and a Hall of Famer.

Shula did it his way and while most young fans, including myself, couldn’t witness the dominance- we knew it. The stories were passed down from our parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters. They also come from TV, radio and friends.

The franchise is hoping to return to dominance and create new memories for fans young and old. The new Fins drafted Tua Tagovailoa, have a coach that players and fans believe in, and finally have a front office that everyone can support. We’ve seen 15 losing seasons since Shula left the team. There have been countless 8-8, 7-9, and 6-10 seasons. We feel like we’ve been through hell, but if anyone would’ve loved to see this team rebound, it would have been Coach Shula.

Rest in peace. You’ll never be forgotten, Coach Shula. You were the greatest of all time.

Kai’Chien Chisholm is currently studying broadcast media and wants to become sports broadcaster. He currently works for the ProFootballNetwork and is the Podcast Network Director for the site while running his own podcast.