New England Patriots

MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on prior to Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Bill Belichick has issued a brief statement through the Patriots on the passing of legendary former Dolphins head coach Don Shula, who died Monday at age 90.

“Don Shula is one of the all-time great coaching figures and the standard for consistency and leadership in the NFL,” Belichick’s statement began. “I was fortunate to grow up in Maryland as a fan of the Baltimore Colts who, under Coach Shula, were one of the outstanding teams of that era.”

Read the full statement below:

Belichick’s first NFL job was coincidentally with the Baltimore Colts in 1975, five years after Shula had left to coach the Dolphins.

Shula went on to win 328 regular season games as an NFL head coach, leaving Belichick 55 wins behind him entering the 2020 season. He infamously referred to the Patriots head coach as “Beli-cheat” in a 2015 interview at age 85.

But as you can tell from Belichick’s statement, he goes back way further with Shula than some silly comment from five years ago. Still, Belichick likely has that wins record in his sights right now.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.