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Tony Dungy - NFL Hero

Updated on July 25, 2009

Former professional football player, Tony Dungy was born Anthony Kevin Dungy on October 6, 1955 in Jackson Michigan. Head coach of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, prior to coaching for the Colts, from 1996 until 2001, he was head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dungy was the first ever African-American coach to be victorious at the Super Bowl in 2007 when the Indianapolis Colts won against the Chicago Bears at Super Bowl XLI.

During his time at Parkside High School, Tony Dungy played at a guard on the basketball team and was quarterback of the school's football team. When Dungy was only fourteen-years-old, he was featured in the January 26, 1970 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine in the Faces in the Crowd section.

Tony Dungy played college football for the University of Minnesota's Golden Gophers until 1976. He played the position of starting quarterback, completing 274 of 576 pass attempts, 25 touchdown passes and 3,577 passing yards. He was named Most Valuable Player for Minnesota twice. He also played on the basketball team as well his freshman year.

The NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent Dungy as the defensive back. He was a reserve-special teams player in the 1977 season as well as the leader in interceptions during the 1978 Super Bowl championship season. Tony Dungy was traded in 1979 to the San Francisco 49ers. Dungy called it quits the next year at the 1980 New York Giants' training camp.

After he retired from the National Football League, Tony Dungy was offer an assistant coaching job at the University of Minnesota. Having been the defensive coach for just one season, Dungy was invited to be the assistant coach in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1981. The following year he moved on to coach defensive backfield and then defensive coordinator in 1984. Dungy left Pittsburgh in 1989 and became the Kansas City Chiefs' defensive back coach. In 1992, he took over the position of defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. Dungy has the best-ranked defense in the NFL during his time with the Vikings.

Tony Dungy's dream of becoming a head coach in the NFL came true when he signed on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996. Dungy introduced his own version of the "Cover 2" defense, which became the well-known "Tampa 2".

In 2002, Tony Dungy was hired to be the head coach for the Indianapolis Colts, who at the time had a somewhat weak defense. Dungy immediately began using his "Tampa 2" defense, sculpting the Colts' defense. In February of 2007, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears to win Super Bowl XLI.

Tony Dungy is not only accomplished on the field, but in his life outside of sports as well. During his time in Tampa Bay, Dungy was a speaker for Athletes in Action and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He started Mentors for Life, a program for mentoring young people. He also supports the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Family First, organizations for foster parents and Prison Crusade Ministry. His program, Basket of Hope is a big help to the patients of Riley Hospital for Children. Dungy also supports Indiana Black Expo and Black Coaches Association National Convention.

Tony Dungy is a devout Christian who one time considered abandoning his football career for the ministry.

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    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      Love Dungy and the Colts....great hub! Thanks!