Don Shula

Football Coach

Don Shula was born in Grand River, Ohio, United States on January 4th, 1930 and is the Football Coach. At the age of 90, Don Shula biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Other Names / Nick Names
Donald Francis Shula
Date of Birth
January 4, 1930
United States
Place of Birth
Grand River, Ohio, United States
Death Date
May 4, 2020 (age 90)
Zodiac Sign
$30 Million
American Football Player
Don Shula Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 90 years old, Don Shula has this physical status:

Hair Color
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Don Shula Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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John Carroll
Don Shula Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
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Don Shula Life

Donald Francis Shula (born January 4, 1930) is an American former professional football coach and player best known as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, the team's second Super Bowl victories and their first undefeated season in the National Football League's history.

He served as the head coach of the Baltimore Colts, with whom he defeated the 1968 NFL Championships.

Shula was drafted out of John Carroll University's 1951 NFL Draft, and he played for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and the Washington Redskins as a defensive back. Shula was named 1993 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

In his 33-year career as a head coach in the NFL, he had only two losing seasons.

He led his teams to six Super Bowls.

The Colts set the record for the longest period to be dead in his first Super Bowl, not scoring until 3:19 remained in the game, which was later broken in Super Bowl VII.

The Dolphins set the Super Bowl record for the lowest points scored by any team with one field goal at his next Super Bowl.

He coached a flawless season and set a new record of longest shutout this year, this time with his team on the winning team, not giving up any points until 2:07 remained.

The Dolphins returned to action as Super Bowl champions the following season after defeating the Minnesota Vikings 24-7.

With 347, he now holds the NFL record for most career victories as a head coach.

In 1997, Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Early life and college

Don Shula was born in Grand River, Ohio, on January 4, 1930, a small town along the Lake Erie shore in the northeastern area of the state. Dan and Mary's parents, Dan and Mary (Dénes Süle and Mária Miller), were of Hungarian descent, and they immigrated as children. Shula's father Dan spent nine weeks at a rose nursery before saving up to buy the little house where Shula spent his early childhood. Mary's parents owned a grocery store in Grand River next door. Shula used to play football in his neighborhood as a child, but his parents refused to allow him to go back to school after he developed a gash on his face when he was 11.

Shula's family grew up — he had six children, including a pair of triplets born in 1936 — and later worked at a rayon plant in Painesville, Ohio. Shula attended elementary school at St. Mary's, a private Catholic school in Painesville; his mother was a devout Catholic, and his father converted to that faith when they married. He later attended Harvey High School in Painesville and spent on the university's football team starting in 1945. He did not try out for the team out of fear of his mother's prohibition and because he was recovering from a bout of pneumonia, but an assistant football coach noticed him in a gym class and convinced him to enroll. Shula begged his parents' signatures to sign up.

Shula was a starting left halfback in the school's single-wing offense within weeks of joining Harvey's football team. He supervised a major portion of the team's rushing and passing duties and helped the team beat the club to a 7-three loss record in his senior year. It was the first time in 18 years that Harvey had a seven-win season. Had the team not lost an early game to Willoughby, it would have won a league title. Shula was also a tracker at Harvey and was an 11-time letterman for his three years there.

Many men whose football careers were halted due to World War II service were returning and competing for athletic scholarships as Shula prepares to graduate from high school in 1947. Shula was unable to obtain a scholarship and considered working for a year before going to college, as a result. Howard Bauchman, a former Painesville football coach, had a chance meeting with him this summer, but he had a chance to ask about a scholarship at John Carroll University. Shula received a one-year scholarship at University Heights, a Cleveland suburb. Shula's scholarship was postponed after he did well in his freshman year, including in a victory over Youngstown State in October 1948. He ran for 175 yards and two touchdowns in place of the injured starting halfback. Shula considered joining the Catholic priesthood after a three-day retreat at John Carroll, but decided against it due to his commitment to football. In a victory over a heavily favored Syracuse team in 1950, he rushed for 125 yards in a victory.

Later life and death

Shula started a branding company in 1989, lending his name to a steakhouse operated by the wealthy Graham family, who became friends with Shula and his family after the Shulas moved to Miami Lakes, a Graham-developed suburb. Hundreds of Shula-branded restaurants opened in the ensuing years, many in Florida, including steakhouses, burger restaurants, and bars. In 1991, Shula first appeared on other Graham-owned businesses, including the family's restaurant in Miami Lakes, where his first steakhouse was located. In exchange for a minority interest in the family's hospitality division, Don Shula's Hotel & Golf Club was rebranded Don Shula's Hotel & Golf Club. During his time in the branding industry, he remained active, and the company bearing his name grew, but his son Dave took over management in his later years.

Shula, a Miami-based auto dealership Warren Henry, HearUSA hearing aids, NutriSystem diet plans, Humana health care, and Budweiser beer, among other things, became a regular product pitchman in his later years. He and Mary Ann helped with NutriSystem diets targeted to people 60 and older. "If it's something I feel fits into my personality, what I feel is important, and what I actually do, I'll do it." "I enjoy doing things and take a great deal of pride in representing," he said in 2012. Shula was the first American to sign up for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan discounts, enrolling right after midnight on November 15, 2005, as part of a government public education campaign.

He was named the Dolphins' vice chairman after Shula's departure. He had other links to football in retirement, as well as serving in ceremonial roles. He performed the ceremonial coin toss in San Diego, ending the pregame parades. Shula was in attendance at the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation in 2005 in Miami Gardens. He attended Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona, where the Patriots may have matched his Dolphins team's undefeated season but didn't win.

Shula lived near the Indian Creek Country Club in the wealthy enclave of Indian Creek, Florida, as well as a condominium overlooking the Links at Pebble Beach, California, and was also an avid golfer after his coaching career. Tiger Woods, the winner of the 2007 WGC-CA Golf Tournament hosted at the Doral Resort in Miami, was awarded the Winners Cup on March 25, 2007.

Shula was involved in a variety of non-sporting activities. In 2011, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his humanitarian efforts. He endowed the Don Shula Chair in Philosophy, which supports the Philosophy Department by presenting programs of interest to scholars and the general public at John Carroll University.

Shula suffered with insomnia and heart problems as a result of his illness, and he had a pacemaker implanted in 2016. Shula died on May 4, 2020 at his home in Indian Creek at the age of 90.

Personal life

After his playing career ended, Shula married Painesville, Ohio native Dorothy Bartish, with whom he had been in a relationship since high school. They had five children: Dave (B.) vs. Donna (b. June 28, 1961), May 28, 1959) Donna (b. June 30, 1962), Anne (b. June 30, 1962). Mike and May 7, 1964; May 7, 1964). Dorothy died of breast cancer on February 25, 1991. The Don Shula Foundation for Breast Cancer Research was established in the same year.

On October 15, 1993, he married Mary Anne Stephens, his second wife. They lived in the Indian Creek home that Mary Anne had won in her divorce deal from her third husband, investment banker Jackson T. Stephens. The couple divided their time between Indian Creek and a home in San Francisco, where they stayed during Florida's hurricane season.

Shula was a devout Roman Catholic throughout his life. He said in 1974, when he was still coaching, that he attended Mass every morning. Shula once considered becoming a Catholic priest but later decided he would not be able to serve as both priest and guide.


Don Shula Career

Playing career

Shula earned a degree in sociology with a minor in mathematics, and was given the opportunity to teach and coach at Canton Lincoln High School in Canton, Ohio, for $3,750 per year (equivalent to $39,000 in 2021). However, the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League had him in the ninth round of the 1951 draft in January. Cleveland had won the NFL championship last year, despite a hard defense and an offense led by quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley, and end Dante Lavelli. Carl Taseff, a Cleveland teammate who was picked in the 22nd round, joined Shula in the Browns' preparation camp. 220 Browns made the choices partially because John Carroll coach Herb Eisele attended his teaching clinics and used similar strategies and terms as Brown did. Shula and Taseff were both members of the team and were the team's only two rookies in 1951. 220 Shula, a football player, has played as a defensive back alongside Warren Lahr and Tommy James.

: 220

Shula appeared in all 12 of Cleveland's games in 1951, making his first appearance as a starter in October and recording four interceptions. The Browns, on the other hand, finished with an 11-1 record and advanced to the championship game for the second year in a row. In Los Angeles, the team lost the game 24-17 to the Los Angeles Rams.

: 233–234

Shula was a member of an Ohio Army National Guard unit that was activated the following January amid the Korean War. Shula was away from football until the unit was activated in November, and military service in Ohio and at Fort Polk in Louisiana held the unit apart. Shula, who has since signed a $5,500-per-year deal and appeared in five games since the season's end, and has been a full time starter due to injuries to other players. 247 The Browns advanced to the championship game and lost once more, this time to the Detroit Lions. 251–253 Brown traded Shula, Taseff, and eight others to the Baltimore Colts in exchange for five Colts players, including tackles Mike McCormack and Don Colo, before coming to Baltimore.

Shula also signed a $6,500-per-year deal with Baltimore, which was preparing for its first season after relocating from Dallas, where the franchise had been called the Dallas Texans. The team took over a former Colts franchise that folded after the 1950 season. Despite leading the NFL in defensive takeaways, including three interceptions by Shula, the Colts posted a 3–9 record in 1953. Baltimore continued to struggle the following year under the guidance of new head coach Weeb Ewbank, a former Browns assistant. The team went 3–9 for last place in the NFL West, but Shula had a career-high five interceptions.

In 1955, Shula had five interceptions, but the Colts finished 5–6–1, well out of contention for the divisional championship. Shula missed the final three games of the season due to a fractured jaw sustained in a 17-17 tie with the Los Angeles Rams. Although the Colts signed future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas as a backup in 1956, they lost a losing streak even after Unitas became the starter part of the season. That year, Shula had only one intercept. Shula was waived by the Colts at the end of training camp in 1957, and the Washington Redskins signed him up. Shula played for one season with the Redskins before retiring. In his seven NFL seasons, he played in 73 games, intercepted 21 passes, and recovered four fumbles.

Coaching career

Shula began his coaching career shortly after beginning his playing career, signing as a defensive backs coach at the University of Virginia under Dick Voris in February 1958. This year, Virginia placed 1-9th in a single season. Shula was married in the summer before Dorothy Bartish, who grew up near Painesville, became a member of the American Bartish Society. Shula and Bartish had started dating after he graduated from John Carroll; when he announced, she was living in Hawaii as a tutor.

Shula began teaching at the University of Kentucky in 1959, after one season at Virginia. When Shula played in Cleveland, Collier was an assistant to Paul Brown. 17–18 Shula started coaching in Kentucky after one season as the Detroit Lions' defensive backfield coach in 1960. In each of Shula's three seasons as head coach George Wilson, they finished in second place in the NFL West in 1961 and 1962. When Shula first took over the league, Detroit's defense was in last few points allowed, including a second-place finish in 1962. With 3,217 yards allowed, the defense also led the league in fewest yards allowed last year. In 1962, Detroit's defense featured a group of linemen dubbed the "Fearsome Foursome," including defensive tackle Roger Brown and Alex Karras, as well as defensive ends Darris McCord and Sam Williams.

Weeb Ewbank, under whom Shula had appeared in Cleveland and Baltimore, was fired as the Colts' head coach in 1963 after three disappointing seasons and differences over team leadership and organization with owner Carroll Rosenbloom. Rosenbloom immediately named Shula as the team's next head coach after being hired earlier. Shula was only 33 years old, making him the youngest coach in league history at the time, but Rosenbloom was familiar with his personality and approach from his time in Baltimore. Although Rosenbloom acknowledged that he was "out on a limb" in recruiting Shula, the Colts' sense of team spirit would return. Though Shula had only been an average player, Rosenbloom said he was "always... taking pictures, talking football." "He had always wanted to teach."

Shula lost his first regular-season match against the Giants on September 15th. The 1963 Colts lost their next game but went on to finish the season with an 8–6 record for third place in the NFL West. Johnny Unitas, who was Shula's teammate during his last year as a player in Baltimore and 1959, was still on the team's coach, and he helped the Colts win championships in 1958 and 1959. End Raymond Berry and tight end John Mackey were among the team's key receivers, while defensive end Gino Marchetti anchored the defense.

In his second year as coach, Shula led the team to a 12–2 record. 123 That ranked the Colts at the top of the NFL West, earning them a spot in the NFL championship against the Browns, who were coached by Collier. 121–123 The Colts were largely expected to win even by sportswriters in Cleveland, due in large part to their excellent receiving corps and Unitas, who had 2,824 passing yards and received the league's Most Valuable Player award. Lenny Moore had 19 touchdowns during his 122nd halfback game, setting a new NFL record. 123 In addition to being the NFL's top-scoring offense, the Colts defense allowed the fewest points in the NFL. 124 Shula had always been interested in coaching even before his playing career, giving him "the expertise of a man in the field for ten years." 123 The Colts defeated the Browns 27–0 in the title game, but not the Browns. 151 Despite the setback, Shula received the NFL Coach of the Year Award.

: 123

At the end of the 1965 season, the Colts tied the Green Bay Packers at 10–3–1, prompting a playoff to determine which of them will play in the championship game. During the regular season, the Colts had lost twice to the Packers, and Unitas and backup Gary Cuozzo were sidelined by injuries as the playoffs approached. Even at halftime, Baltimore was down to a 10–0 lead at halftime, but the Packers, guided by Vince Lombardi, made a comeback in the second half and tied the score at the end of regulation. In the sudden-death overtime, the Colts put on a halt to the Packers on their first drive, but the Falcons' ensuing drive ended with a missed field goal by placekicker Lou Michaels. The Packers then won 13–10. They were on a field goal of their own, but the Packers won 13–10. Shula said after the game that even if his team didn't expect to execute its new plan without Unitas and Cuozzo, the Colts "don't belong in this league" if they did not beat Green Bay in three attempts, but did not expect to do so.

The Colts lost second place in the NFL West the following year, the first year a Super Bowl was played between the NFL champion and the winner of the national Football League. Despite a regular-season record of 11–1–2, the Colts lost the newly formed Coastal Division on a tiebreaker with the Los Angeles Rams because the Rams scored more points in the games between the two teams in 1967. On the final Sunday of the season, the Colts' only defeat was a 34-10 setback to the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Though the season came to an end, Shula received his second Coach of the Year award, and Unitas was named the league's MVP.

Unitas suffered his elbow and was recalled by backup Earl Morrall before the 1968 season began. Morrall's hopes were low, but the Colts were led by the veteran quarterback to a string of victories at the start of the season. Shula attempted to bring Unitas back to the field, but the quarterback's illness flared up a few times, culminating in a game against Cleveland in which he had only one completion and three interceptions. Baltimore's only loss of the season came after the team posted a record-breaking 13–1 record. In the Western Conference championship game, the Colts defeated the Minnesota Vikings and the Browns 34–0 in the NFL Championship Game the following week. In Super Bowl III, the New York Jets and the New York Jets meet. Despite being the underdog, quarterback Joe Namath, who promised a victory before the game, was led by the Jets. The game was won by New York 16–7.

Shula spent one season as the Colts' head coach, who set an 8–5-1 record in 1969 and fell short of the playoffs. In seven seasons as mayor of Baltimore, he had a 71–23–4 record, but in the postseason, he was just 2–3, with upset losses in the 1964 NFL Championship Game and Super Bowl III, where the Colts were strong favourites.

Shula's relationship with him had soured following Shula's retirement in 1969, and when Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie offered him a $70,000-per-year contract, the power of general manager, and a 10% ownership interest in the AFL team after that season, he jumped at the chance. Rosenbloom wrangled at an NFL meeting in Hawaii in 1970, alleging that Robbie's recruiting of his coach broke the league's ban on tampering or refusing to recruit other teams' employees without seeking permission. Shula and Robbie hoped that Shula's ownership interest and position as his own general manager would prevent tampering fines under an exception for an employee leaving a club to "better himself." The Dolphins were found to have breached the tampering act because they didn't seek permission to negotiate and didn't notify the Colts of the pending recruit before it announced. Rozelle received the Colts Miami's first-round pick in 1971 as punishment.

During Shula's tenure as the AFL and NFL prepare to merge, the Dolphins were one of the AFL's worst teams in the years leading up to Shula's hire, which came as the AFL and NFL were both preparing to merge in the 1970 season. The Dolphins won no more than five games in any season under new head coach George Wilson between 1966 and 1969.

Shula led Miami to immediate success, winning a 10–4 win-loss record in the 1970s and a 10–3–1 record the next year, when the team dominated the AFC championship but lost Super Bowl VI to the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 24–3. Many current members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were among the team's players, including quarterback Bob Griese, fullback Larry Little, guard Larry Little, center Larry Langer, linebacker Nick Buoniconti, and wide receiver Paul Warfield, who was drafted from the Browns in 1970 for a first-round draft pick.

During Larry Little's tenure as coach, Jim Langer, Bob Kuechenberg and Norm Evans, good running games starring Csonka, Jim Kiick and Norm Evans, quarterbacking by Griese and Earl Morrall, and Jim Mandich are among Shula's outstanding receivers. "The No-Name Defense" was the Dolphins' defense, but it featured a string of outstanding players, including defensive tackle Manny Fernandez, linebacker Nick Buoniconti, and safeties Dick Anderson and Jake Scott.

Shula led Miami to the NFL's first perfect season in 1972, leading to a 17–0 record and a 14–7 victory over the Washington Redskins. The 2007 Patriots went undefeated until losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, beating them by a mile. No other team has equaled that feat. Despite the loss of his quarterback, Griese, due to injury in the fifth game of the season, Shula strung together the wins. Earl Morrall, 38, had been fired by him during Shula's time in Baltimore as the back-up to Unitas. Griese was able to return for the playoffs, leading the team in the Super Bowl victory. Shula will be the first American professional football coach to reach 100 wins in his first decade as a head coach in this year.

Shula's 1973 squad lost their second game of the season to the Oakland Raiders, snaping a winning streak that lasted to 18 games. That run is tied for the third longest in league history. The team finished with a 12-2 record on the regular season and went on to win their second Super Bowl in a row, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 24–7.

In an AFC divisional playoff game, the 1974 Dolphins had a chance to win their third title in a row, but they lost 28-26 to the Oakland Raiders. With 35 seconds remaining in the game, Oakland quarterback Ken Stabler was on the verge of being fired by Dolphins defensive end Vern Den Herder when, just before he was tackled, he completed a desperation forward pass to his running back Clarence Davis in the game's final moments, when he was called "The Sea of Hands." The Dolphins' team was decimated the following season by the introduction of the now-defunct World Football League, as well as their inability to match contract offers from three of the league's top players: Csonka, Warfield, and Jim Kiick. For the 1975-19 season, the three three three boys were scheduled to join the Memphis Southmen.

Shula led the team to more winning seasons in the 1970s and 1980s, with just one losing record set ever posted, in 1976, when the team finished 6-8. In 1978, 1979, and 1981, the team advanced to the playoffs, but they lost in the first round each time. Many sportswriters, players, and coaches say it was one of the best games ever played in 1981. "It's the greatest ever" Shula described it as. With a field goal in double-overtime, the Chargers won the so-called Epic in Miami 41–38.

Shula's crew advanced to the Super Bowl in 1982 during the strike-shortened season, but the Washington Redskins lost the championship to the Washington Redskins. David Woodley and Don Strock, who shared quarterback duties after Griese's departure from the 1980 season, as well as fullback Andra Franklin, who finished second in the NFL in rushing. The defense, which was one of the best in the league, was dubbed the "Killer Bees" because six starters' names began with "B," including defensive tackle Bob Baumhower, linebacker Bob Brudzinski, and safeties Lyle Blackwood and his brother Glenn Blackwood.

With the selection of quarterback Dan Marino out of the University of Pittsburgh in the first round of the NFL draft, a new era in Miami began in 1983. Marino began playing in the 1983 regular season, and the Dolphins were back in the Super Bowl in 1984, thanks in large part to Marino's record 5,084 yards through the air and 48 touchdown passes. The Dolphins lost the game to the San Francisco 49ers, who were led by quarterback Joe Montana.

Shula's relationship with Robbie slowed significantly over the years, owing in large part to Robbie's inability to invest money on top-profile players, which resulted in contract holdouts for Marino and linebacker John Offerdahl. Shula's status as both general manager and part-owner of the team resulted in conflict that occasionally burst into public view. When Shula arrived late to a banquet honoring Miami's 1974 Super Bowl victory, Robbie ordered Shula to "get the hell into the room," a vexed Shula said.

When Donald Trump, the operator of the upstart United States Football League's New Jersey Generals, began a $1 million-per-year job with Shula, one of the few times Shula came close to leaving Miami in the 1983 season, it was one of the big jumps from the $450,000 he was making at the time with the Dolphins. When Shula insisted on getting a rent-free apartment at Trump Tower, Trump said talks fell into a stalemate. Shula called the courtship "a major distraction" and decided to stay in Miami, breaking with plans and saying that they did not discuss the case and deciding to remain in Miami. Csonka, a former Jacksonville Bulls executive, said he expected Shula to have been hired but was furious at being "thrown out to the media" by Trump, years later.

Shula's teams had only one losing record as Miami's coach after the 1984 season, but not yet advanced to the Super Bowl. In 1985, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, and 1995, Shula's last season, the team made the playoffs. Don Shula's Miami Dolphins defeated the Cincinnati Bengals by a 23–7 margin on October 2, 1994. It was the first time a head coaching matchup featured a father against his son in NFL history. The resignation of Shula in 1996 was tingled by rumors that Wayne Huizenga, a businessman who took full responsibility of the team in 1994 from the Robbie family, who inherited it after Robbie's death in 1990. In making the decision to step away from the game at 66 years old, Shula said he was "at peace with myself." He completed his coaching career with a 328–156–6 regular-season record, giving him the all-time record in victories for an NFL head coach.

Shula modified his teaching tactics as his employees changed. A run-first offensive scheme and a dominant defense united his Super Bowl teams in 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1982. When Marino was quarterback, the team relying on its offense, especially its passing offense, to win games. "I've been accused of being a cautious, 'grind'em-out' kind of coach" while my teams were in Baltimore, 1973-1974," Shula said. "I didn't try to jam the Unitas style down the throat of Bob Griese, who was a different kind of quarterback, nor did I try to convince the Griese style on Marino when he came down."


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