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Miami Dolphins Team History

For most of their history, the Dolphins were coached by Don Shula, the winningest head coach in professional football history. His Dolphins teams posted losing records in only 2 of his 26 seasons with the club.

In 1972 the Dolphins became the first and only NFL team to complete a 14-game regular season without a loss. Five future Hall of Fame members played for Miami during the 1970s, including running back Larry Csonka and quarterback Bob Griese.

During the 1980s and 1990s quarterback Dan Marino became the most prolific passer in NFL history. He piloted the Dolphins to numerous playoff appearances and two Super Bowls, and he holds numerous NFL career passing records.

Miami joined the American Football League (AFL) when an expansion team franchise was awarded to lawyer Joseph Robbie and actor Danny Thomas in 1965. The Dolphins began play in 1966, and after four consecutive losing seasons, Don Shula replaced George Wilson as head coach. Miami joined the NFL in 1970 when the NFL and AFL completed their merger.

Miami Dolphins Chronological History

1965
AFL awards its first expansion franchise to Joseph Robbie and television star Danny Thomas for $7.5 million.
1966
The Dolphins began competition in the AFL.
1972
The Miami Dolphins are the first and only NFL team to finish a complete season undefeated. In 1972 they finished a 14-game regular season without a single loss. They then went on to win two playoff games and the Super Bowl against the Washington Redskins.
1973
The Dolphins won 12 games throughout the season and went on to win the Super Bowl yet again, beating the Minnesota Vikings 24-7.
1974
The Dolphins lose the Super Bowl to the Oakland Raiders. Several players later defect to the short-lived World Football League including Csonka, Kiick and Warfield.
1975
The Dolphins win ten games in the regular season despite the loss of multiple key players.
1977
The team rebounds from a losing 1976 season by winning 10 or more games in four of the next five seasons.
1982
During the strike shortened season, the Dolphins held five of their nine opponents to 14 or fewer points en route to their fourth Super Bowl appearance. Dolphins overcome 24-0 deficit but succumb in overtime, 41-38, to San Diego in highest-scoring playoff game in history. Later yhey lost the title game to the Redskins 27-17.
1983
QB David Woodley is replaced by rookie Dan Marino. Later that season Marino wins the AFC passing championship and rookie of the year award.
1984
Marino sets multiple single season records for most years at 5,084, touchdown passes at 48 and completions at 362. Much of his success can be attributed to an outstanding offensive line and receivers Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. The Dolphins won their first 11 games enroute to the Super Bowl but lost to the 49ers 38-16.
1987
After four missed weeks of action (one game cancellation, three replacement games), the regular Dolphin players return to action. Miami loses 34-31 in overtime at home to the Buffalo Bills. The 21-point comeback by Buffalo is the best ever by an opponent against a Dolphins team.
1988
Dan Marino becomes the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards four times in a career in the Dolphins' 37-31 win over Cleveland. He also throws for his 193rd career touchdown, setting a new Dolphin record and surpassing the total of former quarterback Bob Griese, who had previously held the mark. Marino tops the record that took Griese 14 seasons to accomplish in only six-plus seasons. Also, receiver Mark Clayton surpasses Nat Moore in the record books as he catches a pass in his 37th consecutive game.
1995
Marino broke a series of career passing records held by Fran Tarkenton including yards, touchdowns and completions.
2000
Dan Marino announces his retirement from professional football.
2002
Ricky Williams broke team records with 1,853 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground
2004
Tight end Randy McMichael was arrested for domestic violence and wide receiver David Boston (signed from San Diego) suffered an injury in training camp and missed the entire season (Boston also failed a drug test for steroids later in the season). But the biggest shock came when Ricky Williams retired for then-unspecified reasons. Eventually it was revealed that a) Williams had recently incurred his third strike under the NFL's substance abuse policy, and b) to a lesser degree felt he was unnecessarily overused by Wannstedt
2005
The Dolphins hired LSU coach Nick Saban after letting Dave Wannstedt go. The Dolphins struggled, losing seven of their first ten games to fall to 3-7. After a frustrating two months, however, the Dolphins rallied, winning their final six games, including a win to end the season over the New England Patriots. The team finished 9-7, missing the playoffs.
2006
Disappointing season! Culpepper never recovered from the devastating knee injury he suffered in 2005, was benched after the fourth game of the season and eventually put on injured reserve. After starting the season 1-6, the Dolphins won four straight and were back in the playoff hunt at 5-6, but a few losses later ended their playoff hopes. This was Saban's first and last losing season as a head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
2007
On January 3, 2007, Saban announced that he had accepted a contract for eight years and a guaranteed $32 million to coach at the University of Alabama. Saban left despite making several public statements in the preceding weeks assuring fans and owner Wayne Huizenga that he would be staying on as coach. Cam Cameron, previously the offensive coordinator for the Chargers, was hired as the new head coach.
2008
Shortly after the 2007 season finale, Parcells fired general manager Randy Mueller and on January 3, 2008, head coach Cam Cameron was fired along with almost all of his staff. Parcells then hired Tony Sparano, who was previously an assistant under Parcells during his days as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Dolphins completed the greatest single-season turnaround in NFL history, going from a 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5. Additionally, Miami won the AFC East, becoming the first team in NFL history to win their division after only having one win the previous season.
2010
In September 2010, Bill Parcells, stepped down as Vice President of Football Operations, but remained as a consultant.
2011
The Dolphins also acquired Reggie Bush from the New Orleans Saints in a trade. Another disappointing season resulted in Tony Sparano losing his job as Head Coach. Todd Bowles stepped in as interim coach
2012
The Dolphins, looking to move on from the Tony Sparano era, hired former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin on January 20, 2012 to serve as their tenth head coach. Philbin had served as the Packers OC for five years, during which time their offense was never ranked below tenth in the NFL. In the offseason, fans organized a protest outside the Dolphins' team facility to call for the firing of General Manager Jeff Ireland.

Miami Dolphins Franchise Information

  • Franchise Granted: 1966
  • First Season: 1966
  • Franchise History:
  • 1966 - 1969 Miami Dolphins (AFL)
  • 1970 - Present Miami Dolphins (NFL)

A fan contest drew 19,843 entries to name the AFL expansion team. A total of 622 contestants suggested "Dolphins". Team owner Joe Robbie said he liked the name because, "The dolphin is one of the fastest and smartest creatures in the sea."

Miami Dolphins - Stadium

Miami Dolphins Stadium

Sun Life Stadium

Formerly:
Joe Robbie Stadium (1987-1996)
Pro Player Park (1996)
Pro Player Stadium (1996-2005)
Dolphins Stadium (2005-2006)
Dolphin Stadium (2006-2009)
Land Shark Stadium (2009-2010)
2269 NW 199th Street
Miami Gardens, Florida 33056
Cost: $115 million
Surface Grass
Seating 80,120
Opened Aug. 16, 1987
Phone (305) 623-6100
Fax (305) 624-6403
Tenants:
Miami Dolphins (NFL) (1987-present)
University of Miami Hurricanes (NCAA) (2008-present)
Discover Orange Bowl (NCAA) (1996-1998) (2000-present)
Florida Marlins (MLB) (1993-2011)
Champs Sports Bowl (NCAA) (1990-2000)
Florida Atlantic Owls (NCAA) (2001-2002)

Previous Stadiums

Miami Orange Bowl (1966-1986)
Sun Life Stadium (1987-present)
Joe Robbie Stadium (1987-1996)
Pro Player Stadium (1996-2005)
Dolphin Stadium (2005-2009)
Land Shark Stadium (2009-2010)
Sun Life Stadium (2010-present)

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins history

Coaches

Joe Philbin
2012 -
Todd Bowles
2011
Tony Sparano
2008 - 2011
Cam Cameron
2007
Nick Saban
2005 - 2006
Jim Bates
2004
Dave Wannstedt
2000 - 2004
Jimmy Johnson
1996 - 1999
Don Shula
1970 - 1995
George Wilson
1966 - 1969

Retired Numbers

#12 Bob Griese #13 Dan Marino #39 Larry Csonka

League Championships

1973 Super Bowl VII, 1974 Super Bowl VIII

Conference Championships

1970 (AFC), 1972 (AFC), 1973 (AFC), 1982 (AFC), 1984 (AFC)

Division Championships

1971 (AFC Eest), 1972 (AFC Eest), 1973 (AFC Eest), 1974 (AFC Eest), 1979 (AFC Eest), 1981 (AFC Eest), 1983 (AFC Eest), 1984 (AFC Eest), 1985 (AFC Eest), 1992 (AFC Eest), 1994 (AFC Eest), 2000 (AFC Eest), 2008 (AFC Eest)

Wild Card Wins

1982 (AFC East), 1990 (AFC East), 1994 (AFC East), 1998 (AFC East), 1999 (AFC East), 2000 (AFC East)

Years in Playoffs

1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2008

Hall of Fame Members

Bob Griese
1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
Larry Csonka
1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974,, 1979
Nick Bouniconti
1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976
Larry Little
1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
Paul Warfield
1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974
Jim Langer
1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979
Don Shula
1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Dwight Stephenson
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987
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