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    Best Miami Dolphins Coaches of All Time: After Don Shula, Then What?

    Don Shula won more games than anyone in NFL history, so he's easily No. 1 on our list of Miami Dolphins coaches. But picking the rest of the Top 5 was trickier.

    The Miami Dolphins have employed arguably the best coach in NFL history. They’ve also had one or two of the worst.

    Sure, there’s been more bad than good when it comes to Miami Dolphins coaches. That’s why our list includes the Top 5 of all time and not the Top 10.

    But the truth is, everyone else tends to look a bit like copper when compared to the gold standard.

    Ranking the Greatest Coaches in Miami Dolphins History

    5. Brian Flores | 2019-21

    If you judge Brian Flores purely by how many wins he extracted from his players, he, without question, belongs on this list.

    The best example of this? Flores won five games in 2019 with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the team’s leading rusher.

    So yeah, he was dealt a bad hand. But Flores made the most of it with 10-6 and 9-8 seasons in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

    He wasn’t fired because he couldn’t coach — he was fired because he couldn’t get along with many of those with whom he worked.

    4. Dave Wannstedt | 2000-04

    Dave Wannstedt was one of just two Miami Dolphins coaches to last at least four full seasons. And he’s one of three Dolphins coaches to win a playoff game.

    No one since has come close to putting together the resume that Wanny did during his time in Miami. Certainly, he had some flaws, and he could never measure up to the back-to-back Hall of Famers he followed.

    But Wannstedt, whose 42 wins are second-most in franchise history, took a Jay Fiedler-quarterbacked team to the AFC Divisional Round. That alone is pretty remarkable.

    3. Mike McDaniel | 2022-present

    We’ll admit: This inclusion is based as much on projection as it is on proven productivity.

    Mike McDaniel is only now entering his third season, and unlike Wannstedt, hasn’t yet won a playoff game.

    But he’s won 20 games in his last two seasons, led the Dolphins to back-to-back playoff appearances, and transformed Tua Tagovailoa into a Pro Bowl quarterback.

    And the best argument for McDaniel’s inclusion on this list? Look around the NFL and college football. Successful plays that he has drawn up have been stolen by his peers.

    2. Jimmy Johnson | 1996-99

    Certainly, Jimmy Johnson never had the success in Miami that he had in Dallas, where he built a team basically from scratch into a back-to-back Super Bowl champion.

    But he also won 36 regular season games with a diminished Dan Marino and built a defense that was one of the league’s best for the better part of a decade.

    When you compare Johnson’s Miami tenure with the person he followed, he certainly fell short. But when you compare him with everyone who followed him, his time as Dolphins coach looks pretty darn good.

    1. Don Shula | 1970-95

    Of course Don Shula is the No. 1 coach in Miami Dolphins history. He’s arguably the No. 1 coach in NFL history. (Although strong, and probably stronger, cases can be made for Bill Belichick and Vince Lombardi.)

    Shula coached the Dolphins to all five of their Super Bowl appearances. His 328 career regular season (and 347 total, including postseason) wins remain NFL records.

    Shula was as old-school as it gets. But he was also adaptable. After winning two Super Bowls with a ground-and-pound attack in the 1970s, he let Dan Marino air it out in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Shula’s career accomplishments include four AP Coach of the Year wins, the 1993 SI Sportsman of the Year honoree, and a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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