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Miami Dolphins

Following Greatness: Don Shula Career Timeline

Jan. 4, 1930 — Donald Francis Shula is born in Grand River, Ohio.

Sept. 1944 — Shula forges his mother's signature on a permission slip to go out for his high school football team.

Oct. 9, 1948 — Shula replaces John Carroll University's injured starting halfback in the third game of the season and rushes for 175 yards in a 13-6 win against Youngstown State.

Jan. 19, 1951 — The Cleveland Browns select Shula in the ninth round of the NFL draft.

Oct. 14, 1951 — Shula makes his first NFL start.

Nov. 21, 1952 — Ten months after his National Guard unit is activated, Shula's unit is de-activated and he returns to Cleveland from Camp Polk, La., where he had served with John Carroll teammate Carl Taseff, who would become one of his assistants with the Dolphins.

Washington Redskins Hall of Fame defensive back Don Shula circa 1957. (Pro Football Hall of Fame via AP Images)

March 26, 1953 — Shula is involved in a 15-player trade and moves on to the Baltimore Colts.

Oct. 1, 1957 — A week after being waived by the Colts, Shula signs with the Washington Redskins.

February 1958 — Shula is hired as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia.

July 19, 1958 — Shula marries Dorothy Bartish.

Feb. 6, 1959 — The University of Kentucky hires Shula as an assistant.

May 28, 1959 — Shula's first son, Dave, is born.

March 21, 1960 — The Detroit Lions hire Shula as defensive backfield coach.

April 28, 1961 — Shula's daughter, Donna, is born.

June 30, 1962 — The Shulas have another daughter, Sharon.

Baltimore Colts head coach Don Shula is carried from the field by players of his team after winning the NFL Western Division title against the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles, Calif., November 22, 1964. Player on the left is Lou Kirouac (61), others are unidentified. (AP Photo)

Jan. 8, 1963 — The Baltimore Colts hire Shula to replace Weeb Ewbank as head coach.

Sept. 15, 1963 — The Colts lose 37-28 against the New York Giants in Shula's first game as an NFL head coach.

Sept. 22, 1963 — Shula records his first NFL victory as a head coach when the Colts defeat the San Francisco 49ers 20-14.

May 7, 1964 — Shula's third daughter, Annie, is born.

Nov. 22, 1964 — The Colts clinch the Western Conference title when they defeat the Los Angeles Rams to move to 10-1 on the season.

Dec. 27, 1964 — The Colts lost the NFL Championship against the Cleveland Browns, 27-0.

June 3, 1965 — Mike Shula is born.

Jan. 13, 1966 — Shula signs a five-year contract extension with the Colts.

Dec. 10, 1967 — Shula gets his 50th career victory when the Colts defeat the New Orleans Saints 30-10.

Dec. 29, 1968 — The Colts defeat the Cleveland Browns 34-0 to win the NFL championship.

Jan. 12, 1969 — Shula's first trip to the Super Bowl ends with a 16-7 loss against the AFL champion New York Jets.

Miami Dolphin coach Don Shula gives a big victory wave as he steps down the plane ramp at Miami on Monday, Jan. 14, 1974. Bottom of photo is Joe Robbie, Dolphin owner. The coach and some members of the world champion Dolphins arrived home after their win over Minnesota in Super Bowl VIII in Houston Sunday. (AP Photo)

Feb. 18, 1970 — Dolphins owner Joe Robbie hires the 40-year-old Shula as head coach and gives him 10 percent ownership of the team.

Sept. 27, 1970 — Shula gets his first win as Dolphins head coach with a 20-10 victory against the Houston Oilers.

Jan. 16, 1972 — The Dolphins lose 24-3 against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl VI.

Oct. 15, 1972 — Shula gets his 100th NFL victory when the Dolphins defeat the San Diego Chargers 24-10 after quarterback Bob Griese suffers a broken ankle.

Nov. 12, 1972 — Shula becomes the first NFL coach to win 100 regular season games in 10 seasons when the Dolphins shut out New England 52-0 at the Orange Bowl.

Dec. 16, 1972 — The Dolphins defeat the Colts 16-0 to complete the first 14-0 regular season in NFL history.

Jan. 14, 1973 — The Dolphins defeat the Washington Redskins 14-7 in Super Bowl VII to complete the only perfect season in NFL history.

May 28, 1973 — Shula receives an honorary doctor of letters from John Carroll University and delivers the school's' commencement address.

Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame head football coach Don Shula poses with his son Mike in Miami, Fla., 1982. Mike is an assistant coach on his father's staff. (AP Photo/NFL Photos)

Jan. 13, 1974 — The Dolphins defeat the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII to repeat as World Champs.

July 9, 1976 — Shula signs a five-year contract with the Dolphins and sells his stock in the team back to Robbie.

Sept. 5, 1980 — Shula signs a four-year contract, canceling his previous deal.

Sept. 27, 1981 — The first Shula Bowl takes place when the Dolphins defeat the Baltimore Colts, who include wide receiver David Shula, 31-28.

Nov. 8, 1981 — A 30-27 overtime victory against New England gives Shula his 200th victory.

Dec. 20, 1982 — Shula hires his son David as an assistant coach in charge of receivers.

Jan. 30, 1983 — The Dolphins lose against the Washington Redskins 27-17 in Super Bowl XVII.

Aug. 3, 1983 — The Don Shula Expressway in Miami is dedicated.

Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula (2nd from L) is congratulated atop the toll booth along the 874expressway in Miami on Wednesday, August 4, 1983, after the highway was named for him. State Senator Roberta Fox and Florida Representative John Cosgrove were sponsors of the legislation for the re-naming of the road. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Nov. 28, 1983 — Shula signs a three-year contract extension.

Jan. 20, 1985 — The Dolphins make a record fifth Super Bowl appearance, though they come up against the San Francisco 49ers in SB XIX.

Nov. 24, 1985 — A 23-14 victory against Buffalo gives Shula his 250th win.

Nov. 25, 1986 — Shula signs a new three-year contract.

Nov. 1, 1987 — Shula gets his 250th victory when the Dolphins defeat Pittsburgh 35-24.

Feb. 27, 1989 — David Shula joins the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff.

Jan. 19, 1990 — Shula signs another three-year contract.

Jan. 5, 1991 — When the Dolphins defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 17-16 in a first-round game, Shula joins George Halas as the only coaches to coach in the playoffs in four decades.

Feb. 25, 1991 — Dorothy Shula dies of cancer.

March 8, 1991 — Mike Shula is hired as a Dolphins assistant coach.

Sept. 22, 1991 — A 16-13 victory against Green Bay gives Shula his 300th NFL win.

Dec. 27, 1991 — Dave Shula is named head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

July 17, 1992 — Shula signs a two-year contract.

Feb. 10, 1993 — Mike Shula joins the Chicago Bears as an assistant coach.

Don Shula 325

Oct. 15, 1993 — Shula marries Mary Anne Stephens.

Oct. 31, 1993 — With a 30-10 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs, Shula ties George Halas' NFL record for most coaching victories with his 324th.

Nov. 14, 1993 — Shula becomes the winningest coach in NFL history when the Dolphins defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 19-14 at Veterans Stadium.

Dec. 14, 1993 — Shula becomes the first professional coach to be named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.

July 21, 1994 — Upon signing another contract extension, Shula assumes the position of Vice President/Head Coach and becomes a partner of the team.

Oct. 2, 1994 — Don and Dave make history with the first father-vs.-son head-coaching matchup in professional sports; the Dolphins defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-7.

Dec. 25, 1994 — When the Dolphins defeat the Detroit Lions to win the AFC East title, Shula surpasses George Halas for most regular season victories with 319.

Dec. 24, 1995 — The Dolphins defeat the St. Louis Rams, 41-22, at TWA Dome to earn a playoff spot. It will become the last victory of Shula's career.

Jan. 5, 1996 — Six days after a 37-22 playoff loss against Buffalo ends Shula's 26th season with the Dolphins, he moves from his role as head coach to become Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Nov. 25, 1996 — At halftime of a 23-10 Monday night loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Shula is inducted into the Dolphin Honor Roll.

Jan. 25, 1997 — Shula is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

July 26, 1997 — Shula becomes the sixth former member of the Dolphins to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

June 8, 2005 — At the team's annual Awards Banquet, the Dolphins announce that the team's Leadership Award is being renamed the Don Shula Leadership Award.

Jan. 31, 2010 — The Dolphins unveil the "Perfect Moment in Time" statue of honor of Shula at the team's new corporate headquarters at Sun Life Stadium. The address to the front office is announced as 347 Don Shula Drive, in honor of his final victory total.

Dec. 4, 2011 — Shula is among nine Dolphins legends as well as original owner Joe Robbie honored on the team's new Walk of Fame at Sun Life Stadium.

Aug. 4, 2013 — President Barack Obama welcomes Shula and more than 20 members of the 1972 Perfect Season Dolphins to the White House.

Jan. 4, 2020 — Shula celebrates his 90th birthday.

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