Sharon Shula Reveals Final Conversation She Had With Her Father Before He Passed Away

Don Shula and Sharon Shula

Last week’s death of Miami Dolphins legend Don Shula brought forth a flood of tributes, but his daughter is now recounting a poignant moment involving the brief final conversation she had with her father before he died.

Sharon Shula, who lives in New York, offered a first-person account in the Miami Herald of her short May 3 conversation with her father. It began with her stepmother, Mary Anne Shula, informing her of a back injury suffered by the 90-year-old Hall of Fame coach.

“Your dad hasn’t been doing so well,” she said. “He hurt his back and has been in pain. But I know he will want to hear your voice.”

She lovingly put the phone up to dad’s ear.

“Hi dad it’s Sharon.”

I heard his heavy breathing and then “Shar…” and a mumble. He knew it was me.

“Are you behaving yourself? Don’t be causing any trouble.” This was my typical back and forth with him.

Another sound, perhaps a chuckle? More heavy breathing.

“Dad you are the toughest person ever so you gotta fight this and I know you can do it.”

Another noise, it sounded like he was clearing his throat.

“I love you so much, dad.”

“Sharon, he’s asleep,” Mary Anne said. “The best time to get him is between 12 and 1 so why don’t you call back tomorrow? He can talk a little better at that time when the medicine hasn’t knocked him out so much.”

I texted my brother Mike to let him know what was going on, and he said he would call Mary Anne later that evening.

The following morning, a distraught David Shula informed his sister that their father was receiving CPR and being taken to a local hospital. Sadly, Don Shula passed away during that trip.

In the midst of contacting other siblings, Sharon Shula was outraged to discover that one of her sisters, Annie, had found out about their father’s death from someone who had seen a media report.

One day after traveling from New York to Florida on May 7, Sharon Shula and the rest of the family held the funeral that was limited to family members due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Throughout the article, Sharon Shula offered a loving tribute to the values that her father had imparted and indicated just how close her bond with him was during her lifetime.

While football fans obviously focused on Don Shula’s NFL-record 347 victories, it’s clear that the lessons he taught during his lifetime extended to more than just his players.