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NFL community reacts to Don Shula's passing

Hall of Fame football coach Don Shula passed away Monday morning at the age of 90. He retired as the NFL's winningest coach in 1995, a distinction he still holds today.

The tributes began to pour in, as expected. Here's reaction from around the league and elsewhere to the loss of the legendary Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Colts coach.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

"Don Shula will always be remembered as one of the greatest coaches and contributors in the history of our game. He made an extraordinarily positive impact on so many lives. The winningest coach in NFL history and the only one to lead a team to a perfect season, Coach Shula lived an unparalleled football life. As a player, Hall of Fame coach, and long-time member and co-chair of the NFL Competition Committee, he was a remarkable teacher and mentor who for decades inspired excellence and exemplified integrity. His iconic legacy will endure through his family and continue to inspire generations to come. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Don's wife Mary Anne along to his children Dave, Donna, Sharon and Mike, the Shula family, and the Dolphins organization."

Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker:

"The Game has lost one of the greats today, but we have all lost a truly incredible man. Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula served as an ambassador for this great game for more than half a century. His legendary feats on the gridiron led him to a record 347 wins to become the winningest coach in NFL history and allowed him to lead the 1972 Dolphins to the only perfect season in NFL history.

"Coach Shula was a man who truly loved the game and I have often been moved by the deep respect and affection he was always afforded by the men who played for him.

"The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Coach Shula. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Mary Anne and their entire family. The Hall of Fame flag will fly at half-staff and we will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration to future generations."

Statement from Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay:

"Today is a sad day for the NFL and the entire sports world with the passing of Don Shula. There are few in the 100-year history of the NFL who have had a more positive influence on the game itself than Coach Shula. In addition to his record-setting tenure with the Miami Dolphins, he helped establish the Colts as one of the great franchises in all of sports.

"One of my most special memories is of meeting Don for the first time in 1972 in the Orange Bowl. He was larger than life, of course; and to me he always will remain so.

"He was an extraordinary father, husband, grandfather and human being who will be missed by all of us. Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Shula family as well as our sincerest thanks for sharing his wonderful life with sports fans everywhere."

Statement from Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt:

"Without a doubt, Don Shula was one of the greatest coaches in the history of any sport. Over the course of his remarkable 33 seasons as a head coach, Coach Shula had a profound impact on the game he loved, paving the way for the exciting brand of offensive football that has become a mainstay in the modern NFL. No one coached more games or won more games than Coach Shula, and his 1972 Dolphins set a standard for perfection that has never been duplicated. On behalf of my family and the entire Chiefs organization, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Shula family and the Miami Dolphins."

Statement from Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II:

"I am saddened to learn of the passing of Don Shula. In my opinion, Coach Shula is on the Mount Rushmore of NFL head coaches and his coaching career impacted so many people on and off the field. His recommendation to my grandfather and father was a key to hiring Chuck Noll. I know both had great respect for Coach Shula and all of the outstanding contributions he made to the NFL.

"Our thoughts are prayers with the entire Shula family as he will be missed by the entire NFL community."

Statement from Saints owner Gayle Benson:

"Don Shula embodied everything that so many of us love about the National Football League. First, he valued his faith and family as two of the most important parts of his life. Those ideals shaped the man he was and along with those characteristics, he was a leader of men, which combined with his football acumen, allowed him to execute his vision and successfully build the Miami Dolphins franchise into a dynasty in the 1970's. Not only that, but his vast charitable contributions to the South Florida community made his name synonymous with the entire region and the Miami Dolphins organization to this day. On behalf of the New Orleans Saints, our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Mary Anne and his children."

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