In 1966, the Miami franchise was founded by Joe Robbie along with well-known celebrity Danny Thomas. The Dolphins became the ninth franchise awarded by the AFL. Wayne Huizenga became the owner in 1994, 5 years after Robbie’s death, then sold the franchise to Stephen Ross, who is now the majority owner, in 2008. In the early years, the Dolphins played their home games in the Orange Bowl until 1987, when they moved into what is now called Sun Life Stadium.
On the field, the Dolphins did not have to endure many years of mediocrity before enjoying success. When Don Shula arrived as head coach in 1970, a tradition of winning seasons began. In his second season, with quarterback Bob Griese, running back Larry Czonka, and wide receivers like Paul Warfield, they would reach Super Bowl 6, losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 24-3. The loss would be the impetus for the following season, when the team went undefeated, capped off by a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl 7. The next season they would repeat, downing the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl 8, 24-7. They would not return to the Super Bowl until the 1980s, losing 27-17 to the Redskins in Super Bowl 17, then 38-16 to the San Francisco 49ers two years later, quarterback Dan Marino’s rookie season.
Shula, Griese, Czonka, Warfield, and Marino are joined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by Dolphins greats Jim Langer (center), Larry Little (guard), Dwight Stephenson (center), and Nick Buoniconti (linebacker).Sources: profootballhof.com, and wikipedia.org