Don Shula among the very elite

No. 3 - Don Shula (1:48)

Dan Marino, Bob Griese and Bill Parcells discuss why Don Shula is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. (1:48)

You cannot write the history of the Miami Dolphins without Don Shula, ESPN.com's No. 3 all-time coach. That is how vital Shula is to Miami's franchise.

Shula was the second head coach in Dolphins history, but he's by far the most important. Shula is the only coach to win Miami's two Super Bowls. I walk past the two Lombardi Trophies regularly as they sit in the lobby of Miami's practice facility.

Shula is the only coach to complete a perfect season in 1972. That record has stood more than 40 years and counting. Shula retired with 347 career wins and 19 playoff appearances. When the Dolphins did their last coaching search in 2012, owner Stephen Ross said he was looking for "the next Don Shula." That is an extremely tall task.

The fact is there will never be another Shula for the Dolphins. He is deserving of his place at No. 3 in ESPN.com's all-time NFL coaches and there is no debate that Shula earned his spot among the elite of the elite.