Don Shula firmly cemented his legacy during his outstanding run as head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 1970 to 1995, including the famed perfect 1972 season that still stands as the only perfect season in NFL history. Given his 25 year run with the franchise it would be impossible not to mention what earned him his 1997 Hall of Fame induction. Having said that Shula cut his teeth as a head coach with the Baltimore Colts.
Don Shula was hired in 1963 and at just 33 years old was the youngest head coach in NFL history. Despite his age the Colts quickly realized what their new leader could do, leading the team to a 12-2 record and a championship appearance in only his second season as coach. Shula won his first NFL championship as a head coach in 1968.
During his seven year run he compiled a 73-21-4 record and cemented himself in Colts coaching history. His 73 wins rank second to only Tony Dungy’s 85 for most in Colts history. His .755 win percentage is barely beaten out by Dungy’s .759 percent. While it’s not exactly a record anyone will brag about he will, most likely, forever hold the Colts franchise record for ties as a head coach with 4.
Yes, Don Shula was a Dolphin through and through but first he was a Colt, and a good one at that. More than the team he is most famous for coaching or his all time record for wins, Don Shula was an ambassador for the game, an all-timer that was impossible to dislike and the man who achieved what has proven to be impossible to repeat since 1972; perfection.