In honor of the 100th anniversary of Vince Lombardi's birth, ESPN has been counting down the top twenty NFL coaches of all time. Yesterday, they released their story about the number three ranked coach, Don Shula.
Shula served as the head coach for the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1969, wining the NFL Championship in 1968. He moved over to the Miami Dolphins in 1970 before retiring in 1995. During his coaching career, he had 19 playoff teams, 14 of them by division titles, and was below .500 for a season just twice. He also appeared in a record six Super Bowls, including an NFL first three consecutive appearances (Super Bowls VI, VII, and VIII with Miami). He coached the Dolphins to Super Bowl titles in 1972 (Super Bowl VII) and 1973 (Super Bowl VIII). He's the only coach to complete an Undefeated Season (1972).
He is also the NFL leader in wins, with 347 regular and post-season victories.
He has to be in the discussion for the greatest coach in league history, but, according to ESPN, comes up just short. The two remaining coaches in the countdown are Lombardi and Bill Walsh. Lombardi tied Shula with a .678 regular season winning percentage (Shula: 328-156-6, Lombardi 96-34-6), while Walsh was just behind them at .609 (92-59).
Lombardi claimed five NFL titles (3 NFL Championships, 2 Super Bowls), Walsh has three Super Rings, and Shula the two from the 70s.
Most likely, ESPN will put Lombardi on top of the countdown started in his honor, with Walsh taking second. Do you agree with that ranking? Should Shula at least be ahead of Walsh? Or does the fact that Shula never won the Super Bowl with Dan Marino hold him back?
Where would you rank Shula on the all time list of coaches?