WASHINGTON — Legendary Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, who passed away at the age of 90 this week, had a short but meaningful connection to the DMV during his time as both a coach and player in the National Football League.
Shula played one season as a defensive back for the Redskins during his playing career in the 1950s. During his one season in Washington in 1957, he played in 11 games, had three interceptions and averaged six tackles a game.
Between coaching and playing, Shula spent 10 seasons in Baltimore with the Colts. He played 45 games in Baltimore from 1953-56. He also coached the Colts from 1963-69, where he went 71-23 in six seasons and won an NFL Championship in 1968.
To start off his coaching career in 1958, Shula spent a season with the University of Virginia as the team's defensive backs coach.
It's also worth mentioning that Shula beat the Redskins twice in the Super Bowl, including the 1972 season, where his Dolphins went undefeated. That team is still the only NFL team to go undefeated through the regular season and playoffs, to then capture a Super Bowl.
Don Shula often said he wanted to be remembered for playing within the rules and that’s what happened Monday.
In the wake of his death at age 90, an outpouring of tributes from around the NFL saluted not only Shula’s two Super Bowl championships and NFL-record 347 coaching victories, but also the way he won.
Former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino tweeted that Shula embodied “the definition of greatness.”