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Posts Tagged ‘Shula’s Steak House’

“You know it’s only 50 miles from Grand River to Canton, but it took me 67 years to travel that distance.”
—Don Shula (on the area where he was raised in north east Ohio to being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame)

 

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If you’re fortunate in life, you get a few chances to meet greatness. One of my opportunities came in 1989 I went to grand opening of the Shula’s Steak House at Disney World with the intent of securing Hall of Fame football coach Don Shula’s  autograph (which is in the above photograph). Shula is not only the winningest football coach in NFL history, a two time Super Bowl winner, but the only head coach to lead his team in the NFL to an undefeated season—the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Shula died today and left behind quite a legacy. Part of which is the Shula Chair of Philosophy at his alma mater John Carroll University in Ohio. But football is where he made his name. CBS Sports stated that “Don Shula’s coaching tree is one the most impressive in NFL history. ” The coaching tree is sports lingo for assistants who worked under Shula who went on to head coaching careers themselves. (And then their assistants when on to be head coaches.)

In Shula’s case that list includes Don McCafferty who went on to be a Super Bowl winning coach with the Baltimore Colts, Chuck Noll who won four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Stealers, and by extension, a branch of the Shula tree includes Super Bowl winning head coach Tony Dungy (who coached under Chuck Noll.)

Howard Schnellenberger, an assistant for Shula during the Dolphins perfect season.  was the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first of five National Championships (and was the original architect of the most dominate college football program from 1983 to  2001).

Don Shula’s life story is about a man of character having a positive impact on the world of sports and beyond.

P.S. Yes, my football does need some air.

Scott W. Smith 

 

 

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