Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of Don Shula becoming the winningest coach in NFL history with a 19-14 Dolphins victory against the Philadelphia Eagles at the old Veterans Stadium.
To mark the anniversary, we look back at Shula’s Hall of Fame career in numbers:
- Shula’s brilliant head-coaching career, which lasted from 1970-95, ended with a record of 347-173-6 for a winning percentage of .665.
- Shula is one of only five coaches in NFL history to have coached the same team for 20 or more consecutive seasons. Shula (1970-95) completed 26 seasons with the Dolphins. Green Bay’s Curley Lambeau (1921-49) and Dallas’ Tom Landry (1960-88) share the record with 29 seasons each, while Pittsburgh’s Chuck Noll (1969-91) and the N.Y. Giants’ Steve Owen (1931-53) coached 23 years with their teams.
- Shula had a regular season record of 328-156-6 (.677) and a playoff record of 19-17 (.528).
- His record with the Dolphins was 257-133-2 (.659) in the regular season and 17-14 (.548) in the playoffs.
- Perhaps the most remarkable stat of Shula’s career was that he had only two losing seasons (1976, 1988) in 33 years as a head coach.
- Under Shula, the Dolphins won the AFC East title 12 times, almost half his 26 seasons. They were second an additional six times.
- Shula’s teams with the Dolphins finished in the top 10 in total offense 15 times in 26 years, including first in 1972, 1984 and 1994.
- Shula’s teams with the Dolphins finished in the top 10 in total defense 10 times, including first in 1972 and 1982.
- With the Dolphins, Shula had a winning record against 23 of the 26 opponents he faced, the only exceptions being the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers.
- Shula’s records against the AFC East opponents were 36-20 vs. Buffalo; 36-17 against the Colts; 33-20 vs. New England; and 31-21-1 vs. the Jets.
- Shula had perfect records with the Dolphins against the Arizona Cardinals (6-0) and the Green Bay Packers (8-0).
- The first victory of Shula’s tenure with the Dolphins was a 20-10 decision against the Houston Oilers on Sept. 27, 1970 and his last was a 41-22 victory against the St. Louis Rams to end the 1995 regular season.
- Of Shula’s victories with the Dolphins, 21 came via shutout, including two in the playoffs (21-0 vs. Baltimore in the 1971 AFC Championship Game; 14-0 vs. the New York Jets in the 1982 AFC Championship Game).
- Shula has had 15 of his former players enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. This total of 15 is the second-most players that an NFL head coach has had inducted into the Hall of Fame, trailing only George Halas, who had 25 players enshrined. Of this group, seven played for Shula while he was head coach with the Baltimore Colts (1963-69), while eight were on his teams with the Dolphins (1970-95). The Dolphins contingent includes WR Paul Warfield (1983), FB Larry Csonka (1987), Jim Langer (1987), QB Bob Griese (1990), G Larry Little (1993), C Dwight Stephenson (1998), LB Nick Buoniconti (2001) and QB Dan Marino (2005).