Icon: Don Shula
Former NFL coach, age 79
Don Shula [Photo: Brian Smith]
» We have my breast cancer foundation fund-raiser golf tournament. Our whole objective is to raise money for breast cancer research. We’ve raised probably close to $2 million.
» I do have a great sense of humor, although when you saw me on the sidelines, you probably couldn’t imagine that. But I do enjoy a good laugh and having fun.
» When I retired I said I was going to use my time to get to know my kids and my grandkids and make up for all the family time I missed because of the demands of the coaching profession. We’ve done so much since I retired from coaching that our life has stayed busy, exciting, always something to look forward to.
» We have 30 some locations (Shula’s steakhouses) now. My wife and I go to promotional activities, openings and whenever we’re around visiting a town that has a restaurant in it, we always make sure we stop by. Everything I’ve done in business has been centered on this is what I believe and what I do. It’s not fabricated.
» You’ve got to give the NFL, you know, the owners, credit for knowing how to manage their game. The growth has all been intelligent growth and expansion. The game fits on TV better than any other game. It’s the national pastime now.
» When you’re watching your kids or grandkids play or coach, you sit up there and you’re powerless as to what happens on the field, and you just hope and pray things go well for them.
» I learned a long time ago you can’t change the score. And if it’s a negative score, you’ve got to live with it, and you have to hope you learned something positive from going through that negative experience, and then you wash it out of your mind. You don’t let it linger. If you let a loss linger or affect you in any way as to your upcoming preparation, then you’re not doing your job; you’re not being fair to your players. Your thoughts have got to be positive. You’ve got to get that across to your players, and then their thoughts have to be positive. You can’t go in with self-doubt.
» I’ve never tried to have things I can’t control influence my life or my thought process or what I was trying to accomplish.
» We wanted to have perfect meetings, and then when we went out onto the practice field we wanted to have perfect practices. If you’re making errors on the practice field, you don’t start playing perfect on Sunday.
» Some coaches would teach what you can get away with as far as offensive holding. I always tried to teach within the rules and then coach within the rules and took a lot of pride in being the least penalized team.
» You don’t treat Bob Griese the same way you would treat a guy that just didn’t work as hard at preparation as Griese, who was very conscious of doing the right thing. Some people you would accomplish what you wanted to accomplish by public humiliation and others it would destroy. You’ve got to know the makeup of the people you’re dealing with. You’ve got to get into their heads, find out what makes them tick and then be able to push the right buttons to get the most of out of their ability.
» I was always the youngest one on the playground or the youngest one on the team, but I was always the one who was putting the teams together or calling the signals or running the show. It was just a leadership instinct that I had, always wanted to make sure it was being done the right way — sometimes not too popular with my teammates.
» (Paul Brown) put the classroom into pro football. Before Paul the whole thought was, we’ve got to kick the hell out of them. Paul taught you how to do it step by step. His assistant coaches were unbelievable teachers, and the guy I learned the most from was Blanton Collier. I don’t know if he ever played a down in his life, but he was a great teacher, sort of patterned my coaching style after him.
» You’re totally consumed by the coaching profession.
» My dad came over from the old country when he was 8 years old, came over from Hungary. When I was in the ninth grade, I went out for junior varsity football and I got my nose cut open. So the next year they wouldn’t sign the permission slip, so I forged it. I got them to go to the first game. I returned a punt for a touchdown, and they were saying, ‘That’s my boy.’ From then on they never missed a game.
» I was a math major. I loved English.
» How can you have a better work ethic than Peyton Manning or Eli or the upbringing they’ve had? You look at guys, Marino, the 17 years he played and the way he competed. They’re still out there. In order to be the best you can be, you’ve got to be willing to put everything that you have into it to get the most out of your ability.
» We have 16 grandkids now and one great-grandchild just recently born. It’s just fun to watch them interact and watch them grow year in and year out.
» With my kids there was always a ball out there ... but they weren’t forced to do it. I wanted them to want to do it. I think the worst thing you could do is try to shame them into doing it, force them into doing it.
» People are really nice; they really are.
In case you missed it:
- Florida Icon: Derrick Brooks
- An interview with Annika Sorenstam
- Iconic Florida developer H. Irwin Levy
- ‘Alligator' Ron Bergeron
- Howard Schnellenberger is a Florida 'Icon'
- Florida Icon: Barbara Mainster
- Florida Icon: Walter Lanier ‘Red' Barber
- Louise Gopher is a 'Florida Icon'
- H. Lee Moffitt is a 'Florida Icon'
- Kiran Patel is a 'Florida Icon'
- 'Florida Icon' Howard C. Tibbals shares life lessons
- Alex D. Brickler is a 'Florida Icon'
- Life lessons from hockey great Phil Esposito
- Lucy Morgan is a 'Florida Icon'
- Donald Goodman is a 'Florida Icon'
- Ed Droste is a 'Florida Icon'
- Ray Ferrero Jr. - Florida Icon
- W. George Allen is a 'Florida Icon'
- Tom James is a 'Florida Icon'
- Patrick Smith is a 'Florida Icon'
- Jerry Uelsmann is a 'Florida Icon'
- John L. Parker is a 'Florida Icon'
- C.C. 'Doc' Dockery is a 'Florida Icon'
- Toni Jennings is a 'Florida Icon'
- Dave Barry is a 'Florida Icon'
- Shaquille O'Neal is a 'Florida Icon'
- Ruth Alexander is a Florida Icon
- Brian Johnson is a Florida Icon
- Florida Icon: Sam Gibbons
- Thomas 'Blue' Fulford
- Icon: Don 'Big Daddy' Garlits
- Icon: Charles E. 'Chuck' Cobb Jr.
- Icon: John DeGrove
- Icon: Charles Gray
- Icon: Harry Crews
- Icon: Burt Reynolds
- Icon: Tibor Hollo
- Icon: Gary Mormino
- Icon: Richard Gonzmart
- Icon: Bob Graham
- Icon: Ward Hall
- Icon: Eugenie Clark
- Icon: Warrick Dunn
- Icon: Arthur Rutenberg
- Icon: Chris Evert
- Icon: Preston Haskell
- Icon: Joseph Kittinger
- Icon: The Fanjul Brothers
- Icon: Romero Britto
- Icon: Steve Raymund
- Icon: Cesar L. Alvarez
- Icon: Juan 'Chi Chi' Rodriguez
- Icon: Gay Culverhouse
- Icon: Gene Leedy
- Icon: William R. Hough
- Icon: Peter Prichard
- Icon: Ed Price
- Icon: David L. Paul
- Icon: Jan Garavaglia
- Icon: Claude R. Kirk Jr.
- Icon: Don Zimmer
- Icon: Kenneth H. 'Buddy' MacKay
- Icon: Dick Vitale
- Icon: Michael Gannon
- Icon: Marcella Hazan
- Icon: Tony Little
- Icon: Wade L. Hopping
- Icon: Edgar Mitchell
- Icon: James Rosenquist
- Icon: Bob Martinez
- Icon: Arnold Palmer
- Icon: Mike Peters
- Icon: Margaret D. Lowman
- Icon: Doug Williams
- Icon: Bob Butterworth
- Icon: Fred Schultz
- Icon: Eugene Patterson
- Icon: Harris Mullen
- Icon: Bill Haast
- Icon: Marion P. Hammer
- Icon: Albert Dunlap
- Icon: Joseph Woodrow Hatchett
- Icon video: Joseph Hatchett
- Icon: Talbot 'Sandy' D'Alemberte
- Icon: John Walsh
- Icon: James Robert Cade
- Icon: Nathaniel Pryor Reed
- Icon: Gus Stavros
- Icon: Betty Castor
- Icon: Mary Ann Carroll
- Icon: George Steinbrenner
- Icon: Ferdie Pacheco
- Icon: Vic Dunaway
- Icon: George Smathers
- Icon: Phyllis Apple
- Icon: Nick Bollettieri
- Icon: Harris Rosen
- Icon: Max Mayfield
- Icon: Carrie Meek
- Icon: Andres Duany
- Icon: T. Willard Fair
- Icon: Bobby Bowden
- Icon: Stetson Kennedy
- Icon: Don Francisco
- Icon: Janet Reno
- Icon: Reubin O'D. Askew
- Icon: Clyde Butcher
- Icon: Willie Gary
- Icon: Wayne Huizenga