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Don Shula, legendary former head coach of Miami Dolphins, dies at 90

A tweet from the Dolphins said Shula "passed away peacefully at his home."
Don Shula,
Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula is carried off the field after Miami won the Super Bowl with a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Los Angeles on Jan. 14, 1973.Anonymous / AP

Don Shula, the Hall of Fame coach who had the most wins in NFL history, died Monday morning at his home in South Florida, according to the Miami Dolphins. He was 90.

A tweet from the Dolphins said Shula "passed away peacefully at his home." No cause of death was given, but it did not appear to be coronavirus-related. His wife, Mary Anne, said he had sought treatment recently for fluid retention and sleep apnea.

"Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years," the team said in a statement. "He brought the winning edge to our franchise and put the Dolphins and the city of Miami on the national sports scene. Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Anne along with his children, Dave, Donna, Sharon, Anne and Mike."

Shula coached the Dolphins from 1970 to 1995 and led the team to the only perfect season in NFL history, in 1972. They won the Super Bowl the next year, too.

Shula won coach of the year honors four times. He finished with 328 regular season wins and 19 playoff victories, the most in the league's history, according to NBC Sports. His win rate in the regular season was more than 2 out of every 3 games played. His record in the Super Bowl, at 2-4, was not as impressive: His Baltimore Colts were upset by the Joe Namath-led New York Jets in 1969, and his Dolphins lost three title games.

Shula had been a defensive back for the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Colts and that Washington Redskins, and he was the Detroit Lions' defensive coordinator before he became head coach of the Colts in 1963.

"The Game has lost one of the greats today, but we have all lost a truly incredible man," David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said in a statement. "Coach Shula was a man who truly loved the game and I have often been moved by the deep respect and affection he was always afforded by the men who played for him."

The flag at the Hall of Fame museum will be flown at half-staff in Shula's memory, Baker said.

Tom Garfinkel, vice chairman, president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, said in a statement: "Today is a sad day. Coach Shula was the rare man who exemplified true greatness in every aspect of his life. He will be so missed by so many but his legacy of character and excellence will endure."