Mike Shula

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Mike Shula
Place of birth Flag of United States Baltimore, Maryland
Position(s) Coach
College Alabama
Career Record NCAA - 26-23
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
2003-2006

2007-present
Alabama Crimson Tide
(Head Coach)
Jacksonville Jaguars
(Quarterback Coach)

Mike Shula (born June 3, 1965 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American football quarterback coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Most recently, he served as head coach of the University of Alabama football team.

Contents

Biography

Mike Shula was born on June 3rd, 1965. He is the son of Don Shula, the NFL's all-time winningest coach. Shula attended high school at Miami's Christopher Columbus High School, where he won all-state honors and led his team to the state championship game. He enrolled at the University of Alabama, where he started at quarterback for three seasons and graduated with a degree in labor relations in 1987. He is a Roman Catholic and is married to Shari Shula. They have three daughters: Samantha, Brooke, and Ryan Lucy.

Playing career

Mike Shula's football career started with the Crimson Tide, where he was the starting quarterback from 1984-86. The team's record during these three seasons was 24-11-1 (.681), with wins in the Aloha Bowl and the Sun Bowl, plus key victories over USC, Ohio State and Notre Dame. Despite a lack of overwhelming athletic ability or a particularly strong arm, Shula was known for his gutsy performances in big games. He engineered last minute comebacks against Georgia and Auburn in 1985, both of which are seared into the memory of all Alabama fans. After graduating from Alabama, Shula was selected in the twelfth round of the 1987 NFL Draft (313th overall pick) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but saw little playing time in 1987, his only season.

NFL Coaching Career

Shula has served in assistant coaching positions in the NFL, twice with the Miami Dolphins (his father's former team) plus stints with the Chicago Bears and the Buccaneers, where he was offensive coordinator from 1996 to 1999. His last NFL position was quarterbacks coach with the Dolphins. As offensive coordinator under Tony Dungy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team enjoyed great success and narrowly missed the Super Bowl after losing a fierce contest with the eventual Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams. Following that 1999 NFC Championship Game, Shula was fired as offensive coordinator after the Bucs finished no higher than 22nd in total offense during his tenure. [1] After his firing from Tampa, Shula went on to be the quarterbacks coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2000-2002, then left to become the head coach of the University of Alabama football team.

On January 16, 2007 the Miami Herald reported that Mike Shula was a candidate to become the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins. At that point he'd already had two interviews for the job. If the job had gone to Shula, he would have obtained the job Nick Saban (the coach that replaced him at Alabama) had vacated. However, on January 19, 2007 the Miami Dolphins announced that Cam Cameron, then offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers, had been appointed to the job.

On January 25, 2007 the Jacksonville Jaguars named Shula their new quarterbacks coach. He will try to improve the team's quarterback situation between Byron Leftwich, David Garrard,and Quinn Gray. [2]

College Coaching Career

Hiring by Alabama

Mike Shula was hired as head coach at Alabama in May of 2003 after the termination of Mike Price. At the time of his arrival, the program was in great turmoil. In the previous year, the program had been hammered by NCAA sanctions, lost Dennis Franchione to Texas A&M and subsequently fired Mike Price due to his off-field actions. At the time, he was the second-youngest coach in all of Division I-A football, at age 38.

2003 Season

With the loss of several players from the 2002 team, and an offense that was not fully installed due to time constraints, Alabama suffered through a 4-9 season in 2003. The season was marked by close losses and fourth quarter collapses. In games decided by one score or less, Alabama was 0-6 on the season. Alabama lost overtime games to Arkansas and Tennessee, and generally seemed to be close but not close enough to breaking through virtually all season.

2004 Season

The 2004 season got off to a quick start with Alabama quickly moving to 3-0 with blowout wins over Middle Tennessee, Mississippi, and Western Carolina. However, against Western Carolina, star quarterback Brodie Croyle tore his right ACL on a pass attempt. The injury was a very controversial one, as Croyle was playing in the third quarter against a Division 1-AA school, while leading 31-0. Many felt Croyle should have never been in the game at that juncture. Either way, the injury effectively marked the beginning of the end for the 2004 season. The offense sputtered the rest of the way while suffering even more injuries to several other key players. Starting tailback Ray Hudson suffered a season ending knee injury three weeks later against Kentucky, and starting fullback Tim Castille also suffered a season ending knee injury the following week in the fourth quarter against Tennessee. Backup quarterback Marc Guillon (back) and backup tailback Kenneth Darby (sports hernia) were also sidelined due to injuries. Alabama hobbled down the stretch to finish the year 6-6. By the time of the Iron Bowl, the Crimson Tide had a third-string quarterback, with a fourth-string tailback, two true freshman wide receivers, and a true freshman tight end. All told, the season was, like the year before, marred by close losses. Shula did, however, lead Alabama to its first bowl game since the 2001 season, with a berth in the Music City Bowl against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Alabama lost the game after the third-string quarterback Spencer Pennington sailed a pass over the head of Tyrone Prothro, who was open in the back of the endzone.

2005 Season

The 2005 season would see fortunes turn around for Shula and his Alabama team. Despite poor play along the offensive line and a catastrophic leg injury suffered by star wide receiver Tyrone Prothro, Alabama went 10-2 with a victory in the Cotton Bowl over the Mike Leach-led Texas Tech Red Raiders. The season included blowout wins over Florida and South Carolina, and also included a 6-3 win in an epic defensive classic over the Tennessee Volunteers. Alabama was ranked third in the nation and in the national championship chase before late-season losses to LSU and Auburn. The success gave Shula his first ten win season in just his third year as head coach and also extended Alabama's lead in respect to having the most ten wins seasons of any program in the nation. Furthermore, the Cotton Bowl appearance and victory extended Alabama's lead in playing in, and winning, more bowl games than any other major school. The Tide finished the season ranked eighth in the nation.

2006 Season

Although few expected Alabama to win 10 games again in 2006, expectations generally still called for a solid eight or nine win season. The Tide jumped out of the gate playing well, moving to 3-0 on the heels of clutch kicking and the solid quarterback play of John Parker Wilson. Against the Arkansas Razorbacks, however, the Tide imploded in a kicking nightmare, and lost again the following week to the eventual national champion Florida Gators. The Tide struggled the rest of the year, as the offense could not move the ball once inside the red zone, the running game struggled to find any success, and the defense played sloppy and was often out of position.

Alabama needed overtime to beat a 4-8 Ole Miss team, and looked very poor against 0-12 Duke University and Florida International, which only dressed roughly 50 players due to suspensions from an on the field brawl with players from The University of Miami two weeks prior. Also, the Tide lost to the Tennessee Volunteers after leading for over fifty minutes. Finally, Alabama was beaten by Mississippi State in Bryant-Denny Stadium, a team that it had taken three games earlier in the year to even score, and then lost to LSU and to Auburn in the Iron Bowl to close out the season.

The 2006 team had many problems, the first of which was regarded as a lack of team discipline. Moreover, Shula did not support the strength and conditioning coach Rocky Colburn in his efforts, and many players slacked off on workouts, thus leaving the Tide in poor physical shape. The Shula-ran offense was not particularly creative or efficient, and down the stretch they offense struggled to move the ball, particularly in the red zone.

Firing

On November 26, 2006, Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore notified Mike Shula that he would not be retained as the University of Alabama's head football coach for the 2007 season. [3]

All of the assistants on the road recruiting were notified to return to Tuscaloosa. In a Monday-morning statement, the University said that Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines would serve as the interim head coach for the team's Independence Bowl game against Oklahoma State.[4]

Head Coaching Record

School Year W L Pct. Notes
Alabama 2003 4 9 .308
Alabama 2004 6 6 .500 Music City Bowl (Loss)
Alabama 2005 10 2 .833 Cotton Bowl (Win)
Alabama 2006 6 6 .500 Independence Bowl (loss under interim coach)
Total 4 26 23 .531

External links

Beaumont • Abbott • Otto Wagonhurst • McCants • Martin • Griffin • Harvey • Blount • Leavenworth • Pollard • LowmanGravesKellyScottWadeThomasDrewWhitworthBryantPerkinsCurryStallingsDuBoseFranchionePriceShulaSaban

Preceded by
Mike Price (fired before coaching a game)
University of Alabama Head Football Coaches
20032006
Succeeded by
Joe Kines (interim)
Preceded by
Ken Anderson
Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Coaches
2007present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Persondata
NAME Shula, Mike
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION American football coach
DATE OF BIRTH June 3, 1965
PLACE OF BIRTH Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH