Donald Francis Shula is an all-American NFL football coach with a career spanning three decades, writer and a founder of the Don Shula Foundation for Breast Cancer Research charity.
Don Shula Bio: Age, Early Life, Parents
Shula was born on the 4th of January 1930 in Grand River, Ohio. His parents, Dan and Mary immigrated to the US from Hungry when they were children. Shula was the eldest of 7 children and they all attended St. Mary’s, a private Catholic school in Painesville. He would organise games in the neighbourhood to play football but due to an injury when he was 11 his parents put a stop to him playing.
Don Shula Education Details
When Shula was 14, he attended Harvey High public school in Painesville. They had a football team and wanted Shula to be part of it. Shula had originally not attempted to get on the team, but a coach had been watching him and knew he had talent so persuaded him to join. Shula did not approach his parents to ask permission as he knew their feelings about the game so gave phoney signatures to play on the team. The school had found a shining star and even Shula’s parents couldn’t deny their sons talent.
Shula’s graduation run up was less than perfect as his cohort graduated just as the men were returning from World War II and picking back up their football careers with athletic scholarships. Then after a chance meeting with Howard Bauchman, a past coach for Painesville football told Shula to ask John Carroll University for a scholarship as he had previously got a scholarship for a previous student. Shula was given a year’s scholarship and it was quickly upgraded to a complete scholarship once Shula showed them what he was capable of.
Shula at one point thought of giving up American football and follow another path he was devoted too and that was his faith but decided not to become a priest as the passion for football was too strong to give up.
Don Shula Career Details
Don Shula’s broke NFL history as a coach- Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1969 and then the Miami Dolphins from 1970 to 1995. Shula had 33 years as a head coach, and this came with numerous records that can be seen below;
- Most games coached-526
- Most consecutive seasons coached-33
- Four Super Bowl losses
- Shula teams won numerous NFL conference titles: 1964, 1968, 1971–73, 1982, and 1984.
- Shula’s players were all ways some of the least penalised players in the NFL showing the standard of coaching they were provided with.
NutriSystem wanted Shula to be their new face for the brand and approached Shula in 2007 to represent them, he accepted and started appearing in their advertisement. This would be an effective team and Shula would represent the nutritional company for years to come.
Tributes were very frequent for the longest coach in the game- The Hard Rock stadium is littered with namesakes dedicated to Shula and John Carroll University gave him the ultimate alumni honour by naming their stadium after him.
Don Shula Marriage Details, Wife, Kids
Dorothy Bartish met Shula in a bowling alley in 1954, four years later they got married. Only a year later Dorothy was pregnant with their first child and the couple had five children: Dave Shula (b. May 28, 1959), Donna (b. April 28, 1961), Sharon (b. June 30, 1962), Anne (b. May 7, 1964), and Mike Shula (b. June 3, 1965).
Unfortunately, Shula’s true love Dorothy died from breast cancer after 38 years of being together and this shook Shula but he knew he had to do something and in the same year as Dorothy’s death, the Don Shula Foundation for Breast Cancer Research was initiated.
Shula was truly luckily in life when he met another woman who could love and support him. This was Mary Anne Stephens and they tied the knot October 1993. The couple can now be found happily married with two dogs in Indian Creek, Florida.
Don Shula Salary And Net worth
$3 Million is Shula’s net worth hailing from his successful football player and even better coach career.