Tony Dungy: Coach , leader, Servant | Teen Ink

Tony Dungy: Coach , leader, Servant

February 26, 2014
By trav130 BRONZE, Gridley, Illinois
trav130 BRONZE, Gridley, Illinois
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"to live is gain, to die is Christ."

Tony Dungy is a revered football coach who is a respected leader in the Christian community. Many people have thought that football is a rough sport that isn’t fit for Christian members; many think that football is a sport for failed academic students which are also not true. Tony Dungy proved that Christians can survive football and even improve it. Tony Dungy is one of the most well respected coaches in the NFL as well as a respected leader in the Christian community. Dungy not only changed the way we play football but the way we see football. No one has ever compared to Tony Dungy and likely never will.

Tony Dungy was born in Jackson, Michigan in 1955.
After playing quarterback at the University of Minnesota he went undrafted and signed with the Steelers in 1976 and switched to defensive back, As a player he lead his team in interceptions and two seasons later was traded to the San Francisco 49ers and after being cut then signed by the Giants, Dungy retired.

But Tony decided to stay in football and was asked to coach the defensive backs at his former collage of University of Minnesota. After one year he was hired by the Steelers under Chuck Noll. After serving as the defensive coordinator until 1989, he left for the Chiefs to be the defensive backs coach and then left the Chiefs to take over the Vikings the defensive coordinator position. Under Dungy the Vikings defense was ranked 1st in the NFL.

In 1996 Dungy was hired as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach. Dungy created the Tampa 2 Defense with Monte Kiffin. The skim was created based on his tenure with the Steelers.

In 1996 the Bucs finished 6-10 but many fans believed that Dungy was their coach. It was the first and only season Dungy would have as a losing season. In 1997 the Bucs started 5 and 0, placed 2nd the division and beat the Detroit Lions but ultimately lost to the Green Bay Packers. But the Bucs had won only for the 2nd time in the playoffs.

In 1998 the Bucs missed the playoffs. However in 1999 the Bucs won their division but lost in the AFC championship round. Many people wondered if the Buccaneers were capable of winning a Super Bowl under Dungy but the team gave Coach Dungy another chance. In 2001 the Bucs lost to the Eagles, and in 2002 lost to the Eagles again being shut out both times. In January of 2002 Tony Dungy was fired.

Dungy did not stay unemployed for long. On January, 22; 2002 Dungy was hired by the Colts. He kept most of the staff and did not change the offense. But Dungy did install his Tampa 2 defense. After Dungy’s 1st season with the Colts they made it to the playoffs but were demolished 41-0. The next two years the Colts were defeated by their arch rival the Patriots.

The Colts made major defensive changes and won their first 13 games. The Colts lost their first round playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburg Steelers. Many began to wonder whether or not the Colts could win a Super Bowl under Dungy. Jim Irsay said to Dungy that he still trusted him and he would remain at the head coach position of the team. Though many people wondered if this was the right call to make, Dungy himself said in a later interview “I can remember thinking, as good of a team as we have if we don’t win it now, we may never win it and I was going to have to be ok with that.”

After making significant improvements to the defense to Colts improved in the playoffs beating the Chiefs and the Ravens and then make an improbable comeback to beat the Patriots. Dungy and the Colts then went on the face Dungy former assistant and friend, Lovie Smith, now head coach of the Chicago Bears. The Colts and Dungy beat the bears 29- 17, making Dungy the first ever African American head coach to win a Super Bowl. After the game Dungy kneeled with the team in prayer, he also asked the photographer to not take pictures of them praying but one did any way and the picture became famous.

Coach Dungy decided to return for the 2008 but lost in the wildcard round to the Chargers. Dungy then announced his retirement from football; he was replaced by Jim Caldwell. In 2010 Dungy was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor. NBC hired Dungy as a pre-game show analyst.

Dungy had unorthodox coaching styles. He was once asked if he had ever yelled at a player and he respond, no. A coach not yelling at a player is an extremely uncommon thing from a coach. Explaining why he did not was because he knew the players knew what they had done wrong and they did not need to be reminded of it. Former head coach of the Bears and former assistant and currant Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach, Lovie Smith said that the biggest thing he was taught by Dungy was that a coach is a teacher who puts family and God ahead of football. Dungy also used the old fashioned cover 2 but modified it and ran a now days unheard of conservative offense relying heavily on the run game and short passes.
This is just another example of Dungy displaying his Christian faith to the public.

But Dungy not only is involved with football Dungy has been asked to join counsels by multiple presidents and rejected an offer to be a lesion for the NFL and the NFLPA. In 2014 Dungy was a candid for the NFL Hall of Fame he alongside receiver Marvin Harrison did not get in to the Hall of Fame. This caused uproar in the Colts community but both candids will receive more chances to be entered. Coach Dungy has also written many books, even top sellers .Such as his own memoir, Quite Strength, Uncommon, Both New York best sellers and also other multiple top selling books ranging from children’s books to devotion books. Dungy is also a speaker for Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Tony Dungy is an Example of how a Christian should act and control himself, but he would be the first to say that he is not perfect. “People look at me and see a calm, cool guy on the sidelines and I want them to
Know that my Christian faith affects my coaching and everything I do,” -Tony Dungy. (Source 7) That quote sums up not only how Coach Dungy does act but displays his Humility and gives any credit he is given right back to God. This is why I believe that no one will ever compare to Tony Dungy.

The author's comments:
Tony Dungy in book should have gotten in the Hall of Fame but he will always be my hero.

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