Coach With Most NFL Wins in History Passes Away

The coach with the most NFL wins of any person in history has passed away. Don Shula, the man who coached the Dolphins to the only perfect NFL season ever, passed away on Monday. He was 90 years old. The Dolphins issued a statement about the coach following the news of his passing.

“Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years,” the NFL team stated. “He brought the winning edge to our franchise and put the Dolphins and the city of Miami in the national sports scene.” Shula made history time and again, winning an astonishing 347 games in the NFL, and coaching in no less than six Super Bowls.

Don Shula
AP Photo | Brynn Anderson

Don Shula’s Career

In 1972, Don Shula coached a team to a feat that has not been achieved since. The Miami Dolphins went 17-0 that season, the only perfect season in NFL history. The next season, Shula coached the team to a 15-2 finish, and the Dolphins won the Super Bowl that year.

The closest any team has ever gotten to the ’72 Dolphins was the ’07 Patriots. At the beginning of the Pats domination of modern football, the team posted an undefeated run up to the Super Bowl. However, the lost to the Giants at the Big Game, putting up an 18-1 final record.

Shula coached an impressive thirty-five seasons in the NFL. In 1993, he finally surpassed George Halas’ prior record, 324 victories. Two seasons later, in 1995, he retired. The legendary coach was later entered into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. The ceremony, which took place in Canton, Ohio, was only 70 miles from Shula’s hometown.

Shula’s Legacy

After 1984, the Dolphins didn’t get another chance to go to the Super Bowl under Shula. The longtime coach received more and more fan scrutiny throughout the late 80s and early 90s, leading up to his retirement. However, he still posted commendable wins and was the face of the team for decades.

Shula and the ’72 Dolphins occasionally caught heat for what some perceived as them gloating over their unique status. In 2010, Shula was quoted saying, “People think we’re a bunch of angry old guys who can’t wait for that last undefeated team to get beat.

“We’re very proud of our record, and if somebody breaks it, I’m going to call that coach and congratulate them. Until they do, it’s our record, and we’re proud of it.” The coach, who, by the end of his life needed severe arthritis treatment, lived to be 90 years old. In his lifetime, no one beat his Dolphins’ undefeated record.