Shula, who was 90 years old when he peacefully died at his home, is the all-time wins leader in NFL history at 347 victories. He led the 1972 to the only undefeated season in NFL history and was a two-time Super Bowl winner.
But on Jan. 20, 1985, Shula fell to Bill Walsh's 49ers, 38-16, in Super Bowl XIX. It was a clash of legendary coaches, as well as two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Joe Montana and Dan Marino. In the end, Montana was brilliant and San Francisco's defense was too much for the young Marino.
Here are seven facts from a game that has gone down in the Bay Area record books.
Montana sets Super Bowl records
In his second Super Bowl appearance, Montana simply was spectacular on his way to winning the game's MVP. Montana only had nine incompletions and a 127.2 passer rating as he picked apart the Dolphins. He also placed his name in the record books.
Montana's 331 passing yards were a Super Bowl record at the time. Four years later, he tossed 357 passing yards in a 20-16 Super Bowl XXIII win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Tom Brady currently has the record at 505 in Super Bowl LII.
The Hall of Famer did it with his legs, too. Montana rushed for only 115 yards in the regular season and then 85 in the 49ers' first two playoff wins. But Walsh wanted more.
Montana set a Super Bowl record for a QB by gaining 59 yards on the ground only five carries. He certainly wasn't known for his speed, but it play dividends against the Dolphins.
That record was then broken by Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans when he ran for 64 yards in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Marino's first and last Super Bowl
Shula's championship Dolphins were known for their run attack and strong defense with Bob Griese needing only seven passing attempts to beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII. With Marino, though, it was a whole different story.
The strong-armed star QB took the NFL by storm in 1984. In just his second NFL season, the 23-year-old threw for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns while being named MVP. Marino was an eventual Hall of Famer but never matched that magical season. He also never made it back to the Super Bowl.
Marino was sacked 13 times in the Dolphins' previous 18 games, according to Bob McGinn's "The Ultimate Super Bowl Book," but the 49ers got to him four times. He had a 90.6 and 135.4 QB rating in Miami's first two playoff games respectively. The 49ers held him to 66.9.
Marino threw the ball 50 times in the loss. He completed 29 passes for 318 yards and one touchdown, and threw two interceptions.
Loss gives Shula unwanted record
Shula forever will be remembered as an all-time great coach. The 49ers, however, handed him a record he wishes he didn't have.
While Shula won two Super Bowl championships, he also fell four times in the Big Game. The loss to Walsh was the final time he led the Dolphins to the NFL's ultimate game.
Shula and Marino were supposed to rule the NFL, but the dominant run by Montana and the 49ers as the team of 1980s foiled that dream.
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The 49ers went 15-1 in the regular season and beat the Chicago Bears, 23-0, in the conference championship. But they were just 3-point favorites, according to McGinn, in the Super Bowl.
The Dolphins, who went 14-2 in the regular season, averaged 38 points per game in their first two playoff wins behind Marino's seven touchdown passes. Walsh and Montana were different monsters, though.
Betting on the 49ers clearly was the right way to go.
49ers start off slow
Though the 49ers wound up winning the game by 22 points, it didn't start off so pretty for them. The Dolphins actually held an early lead.
A 37-yeard field goal from Uwe von Scahmann gave Miami a 3-0 lead with 8:02 left in the first quarter. Marino started to catch fire towards the end of the first quarter, and a 2-yard touchdown pass gave the Dolphins a 10-7 lead they held onto after the first quarter.
And then it was all San Francisco. The 49ers outscored the Dolphins 21-6 in the second quarter and held them scoreless in the second half.
Super Bowl comes to the Bay Area
The 49ers hosted the big game when Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers was played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. The game never was played at Candlestick Park, but 2016 wasn't the first time it came to the Bay Area.
San Francisco's win over Miami actually was quite the home-field advantage. The game was played at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto. It was a foggy 53-degree day, which obviously was much different than Miami, and 84,059 people packed the stadium.
Walsh also was familiar with the stadium. He coached two seasons at Stanford before his tenure with the 49ers, going 17-7 and 2-0 in bowl games.
The rich get richer
As if two championships in four years wasn't enough. Three months after beating the Dolphins, the 49ers traded three draft picks to the New England Patriots to move from No. 28 to No. 16 -- and they received a third-round pick -- in order to select Jerry Rice out of Mississippi Valley State in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft.
The rest is history.
Rice won his first Super Bowl in his fourth season, and took home two more rings with the 49ers. Not to mention, he hands down is the greatest receiver of all time.
And it all started with Walsh unsatisfied with his receivers in that 1984 season.
Seven wild facts from Don Shula's Super Bowl XIX loss to 49ers in 1985 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area