Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt honored NFL great Don Shula with an official issued statement from the team after learning of his passing.
One of the greatest living legends claimed by the National Football League, Don Shula passed away on Monday at the age of 90.
Clark Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, issued an official statement on behalf of the entire organization after learning of Shula’s death in an attempt to honor the former player and coach and to put context around what made his career so extraordinary. The full statement, via the team, is below:
"“Without a doubt, Don Shula was one of the greatest coaches in the history of any sport. Over the course of his remarkable 33 seasons as a head coach, Coach Shula had a profound impact on the game he loved, paving the way for the exciting brand of offensive football that has become a mainstay in the modern NFL. No one coached more games or won more games than Coach Shula, and his 1972 Dolphins set a standard for perfection that has never been duplicated. On behalf of my family and the entire Chiefs organization, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Shula family and the Miami Dolphins.”"
Shula began his football career as a defensive back, playing for seven years in the 1950s for the Cleveland/Baltimore franchises before finishing his career with Washington. In that time, Shula had 21 interceptions in 73 total games. However, it was his inimitable run as a head coach that created such a lasting legacy—one that might not ever be eclipsed by a head coach in the NFL.
The professional coaching career of Don Shula began as a defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions before the Baltimore Colts hired him to be their head coach—the youngest in the league at that time. He would last seven seasons there before heading to South Florida to coach the Miami Dolphins for an incredible 26 seasons.
In 33 total seasons as an NFL head coach, Shula won 328 regular season games and 347 overall, good for an eye-popping average of 10.5 wins per season. He led his team to the NFL’s biggest game six times and won two Super Bowl championships during that span of time and put up the only perfect season in NFL history in 1972 with the Dolphins, led by quarterback Bob Griese. Shula’s overall record as a head coach was 347-173-6.
To give an idea of what it would take to break Shula’s mark, the great Bill Belichick still needs 44 wins to beat him by one. In short, it takes an inordinate amount of winning for a very, very long time