The NFL community lost one of its legendary figures earlier on Monday, when long-time Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Colts head coach Don Shula passed away at the age of 90. The most successful coach in league history when measured by wins, Shula is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL’s 100th Anniversary Team — an honor he shares with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Belichick himself released the following statement on Shula’s passing earlier today:
Don Shula is one of the all-time great coaching figures and the standard for consistency and leadership in the NFL. I was fortunate to grow up in Maryland as a fan of the Baltimore Colts who, under Coach Shula, were one of the outstanding teams of that era. My first connection to Coach Shula was through my father, whose friendship with Coach Shula went back to their days in northeast Ohio. I extend my deepest condolences to the Shula family and the Dolphins organization.
While Belichick never faced off against Shula as head coach of the Patriots, he did coach against his Dolphins teams two times when he was working in the same position for the Cleveland Browns in the mid-90s. Miami won both games: Shula and company beat Belichick’s Browns 27-23 during the 1992 regular season, and 24-14 one year later.