The Miami Dolphins unveiled a new statue of the great Don Shula just prior to the start of the Pro-Bowl at their newly named “Sun Life Stadium”. The statue will be in front of the teams new offices on the newly named road, 347 Don Shula Dr. The 347 of course representing the number of career victories Shula owns.
The bronze statue shows Shula hefted on the shoulders of Nick Buoniconti and Al Jenkins following the 1972 Super Bowl victory over the Washington Redskins. The only NFL perfect season. ”Perfect in Time” is printed on the statue.
The NFL also announced that a new yearly award will be handed out in Shula’ name. The Don Shula Award will be handed out to the coach who displays the integrity, achievement and positive impact on others exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history.
The award however, is not just for an NFL coach, but any coach on any level who displays that type of leadership on and off the field. Shula and Roger Goodell will begin evaluating a selection process VIA an eventual committee after the Super Bowl.
“I am honored that Commissioner Goodell has created this award to honor football coaches that live with integrity and have the right impact on other people,” Shula said. “I always relished the teaching and mentoring aspect of being a coach as being the most important thing we did. I look forward to working with Commissioner Goodell and his team to recognize that positive impact that our game can have on our society.”
Don Shula celebrated his 80th birthday a few weeks ago.