Sports Outside the Beltway

Dolphins Interview Mike Shula

The Dolphins are considering Mike Shula to fill the vacancy created by Nick Saban’s departure for Alabama. This is somewhat amusing, given that the Alabama vacancy was created by the firing of Mike Shula.

The latest candidate to emerge for the Miami Dolphins’ coaching job has a big edge in name recognition: He’s a Shula.

Mike Shula interviewed for the job Saturday, a person familiar with the team’s search said Tuesday. The person requested anonymity because the Dolphins have declined to identify candidates.

Shula’s dad, Don, coached the Dolphins for 26 years, holds the NFL record with 347 victories and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Hiring the younger Shula would mean a swap of coaches with Alabama. He was fired by the Crimson Tide in November and replaced by Nick Saban, who left the Dolphins on Jan. 3 after two seasons.

Two other candidates have interviewed with Miami twice: former Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora and Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey. Management met with 12 coaches during the first round of interviews, which ended last Wednesday.

The 41-year-old Shula went 26-23 in four years at Alabama, but 0-4 against rival Auburn. The Crimson Tide fired him after going 6-6 during the 2006 regular season. Shula said he left Alabama in better shape than the program he inherited, which was weakened by NCAA sanctions.

Shula was a Dolphins ballboy when his dad coached the team. He has spent 15 years as an NFL assistant, most recently in 2000-02 as Miami’s quarterbacks coach.

Mike Shula is a decent fellow and may well be a solid head coach one day. A trade of him for Nick Saban, though, is one Alabama fans have to like.

As someone who is both a Bama and Dallas Cowboys fan, I am especially amused that Galey and Shula comprise two thirds of the Dolphins wish list. Why aren’t Mike DuBose, Dave Campo, and Barry Switzer being considered?

Indeed, Switzer has won both a Super Bowl and a college championship. He’d be, by far, the best candidate on the list. And I’m given to understand he already owns a handgun, which will come in handy in Miami.

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