News

Shula Chosen for the Lamar Hunt Award For Professional Football

February 22, 2013

NFL’s winningest coach and architect of the league’s only perfect season to be honored at Kansas City’s 43rd annual NFL 101 Awards

KANSAS CITY, MO (February 22, 2013) – The National Football League’s all-time winningest coach, Don Shula, has been selected to receive the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football – an award that honors the life and legacy of Lamar Hunt while recognizing people who have helped shape the National Football League into the preeminent sports league in America.

Shula will be honored at the 43rd NFL 101 Awards gala in Kansas City Saturday, March 2, 2013, at the Westin Crown Center. The prestigious black-tie awards event was founded in 1969 and is presented this year by Perfect Output and ECCO Select.

In addition to honoring Shula, his 1972 Miami Dolphins squad will be recognized on the 40th anniversary of the NFL’s only perfect season.

“Don Shula not only won more games than any head coach in NFL history, but he did so with the highest of integrity and class,” said Clark Hunt, Chairman of the Kansas City Chiefs. “Coach Shula’s leadership style, dynamic vision and the innovative methods he brought to the game make him an excellent selection for the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football.

“We are also delighted that Coach Shula will be joined at the 101 Awards by Dick Anderson, representing the 1972 Dolphins team, and we look forward to honoring them in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their perfect season,” Hunt continued.

Shula amassed a regular-season record of 328-156-6 during his 33-year coaching career. He coached in six Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl VII in 1972 against Washington and Super Bowl VIII in 1973 against Minnesota. During that two-year span, the Dolphins won 32 of 34 games, which included the historic 17-0 season in 1972.

A native of Ohio, Shula played collegiately at John Carroll University in Cleveland before embarking on a professional career that saw him play for the Browns, Colts and Redskins. After stints as an assistant in both college and the NFL, Shula took over the head coaching duties for Baltimore in 1963. At 33 years old, he was the youngest head coach in NFL history. His Colts teams had winning records in all seven of his years there and played in Super Bowl III. He took over the Miami head coaching job in 1970 – just five years into the franchise’s history – and made the Dolphins a perennial contender.

Shula was a five-time NFL Coach of the Year and was the 1993 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. He retired after the 1995 season and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in July 1997.

The 1972 Dolphins team led the NFL in both offense and defense and was the first team to have two 1,000-yard rushers in the same backfield (running back Mercury Morris and fullback Larry Csonka). Quarterbacks Bob Griese and Earl Morrall split time during the season, while Dick Anderson and Nick Buoniconti led Miami’s “No Name Defense.” Nine players from the Dolphins squad were named to the Pro Bowl that year.

Previous winners of the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football include The Foolish Club (the original eight owners of the American Football League), Tony Dungy, Monday Night Football, NFL Films and Roger Staubach.

In addition to Shula, the other 101 Award winners are Peyton Manning (AFC Offensive Player of the Year), Adrian Peterson (NFC Offensive Player of the Year), J.J. Watt (AFC Defensive Player of the Year), Aldon Smith (NFC Defensive Player of the Year), Bruce Arians and Chuck Pagano (AFC Coaches of the Year) and Pete Carroll (NFC Coach of the Year).

The awards show hosts for the evening will be NFL Network sportscaster Paul Burmeister and CBS football analyst Rich Gannon, a former NFL Most Valuable Player and two-time 101 Award winner.

Event proceeds will be directed to the Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation. The Chiefs and TMC are working together to provide wellness education and promote healthier living for the people of Kansas City.  Both TMC and the Chiefs play a vital role in the Kansas City community and this partnership capitalizes on two well-established brands for the common goal of improving the health status of the community in general, and of the citizens in the urban core particularly.

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