Fins at 50- Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula reflects on perfection

Knowing Don Shula Better

don shula Examples from the world of football game are often used to describe willpower, overcoming hardship, long odds, success and competition; our everyday idiom is filled with memorable quotes and gridiron metaphors.

It is only natural that Don Shula, former football coach with more successes in professional football than anyone else, talks about motivating others to win.


Shula was born on 4 Jan, 1930 in Grand River, Ohio; he played football for John Carroll University, where he graduated from.

After coaching collegiate football, he became the head of the coach of the Baltimore in 1963 and under his guidelines the team won 71 games, lost 23, and drew 4.

His second football team started with Miami Dolphins in 1970 and he became the National Football League (NFL) coach to win more than 100 games in ten seasons. Under his guidelines, Miami Dolphins became the very first team to go undefeated in 1972-73, culminating a Super Bowl victory and all-time NFL record for most career wins with 347.


He set several records on his 33 seasons as a football head coach; led in most games with 347, 526, and 33. Shula’s team won NFL conference titles seven times from 1964 to 1984 and they were among the least penalized in the NFL consistently.

An annual college football game between Florida International University and Atlantic University of South Florida was named Shula Bowl in his honor and the winner of the game received a trophy named Don Shula Award.

His statue was shown at Sun Life Stadium in 2010 and he has received Ellis Island Medal as an honor in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.

Don Shula photo by Rob Rich © 2011 516-676-3939

Don Shula married Dorothy Bartish in 1958, who died of breast cancer in 1991 and they had 5 children, including Mike Shula, and Dave Shula, former Alabama and Cincinnati Bengals coach respectively. A foundation for breast cancer was founded in 1991 by him, and Shula was remarried to Mary Anne Stephens in 1993.

Shula Writes too!

He has co-authored 3 books- The Winning Edge with Lou Sahadi, Everyone’s a Coach and Motivating People to be Winners with Kendra Blanchard.

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