By Derek Lofland.
Rarely are you going to have a year where three coaches of the caliber of Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan, and Tony Dungy are all leaving their respective teams.
Those three coaches should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. When Tony Dungy decided to call it a career in Indianapolis, he completed one of the finest careers in NFL history.
The best thing I can say about Tony Dungy is that for as good of a career as he has had, he sounds like he is an even better person.
I’ve never met Tony Dungy personally, but I haven’t heard one person who has met him say a bad thing about him as a human being. To have that type of resume as a head coach and have people say that about you, is one of the most unique things I have ever seen in professional sports.
Everyone says that Bill Belichick, Phil Jackson, Bill Parcells, “Iron” Mike Dikta, and countless others are terrific coaches.
Do you ever hear these people described as nice?
That isn’t to say that they aren’t good people that do good things for their community. However, when you think of those guys on the sidelines, you think of intimidating personalities. I’ve never heard anyone describe “The Hood” as a “True Gentleman of the Sideline.”
Tony Dungy leaves behind an incredible legacy.
He is one of only three people in NFL history to win a Super Bowl ring as both a player and head coach, joining Iron Mike Ditka and Tom Flores. He leaves the NFL with a 139-69 career coaching record. His .759 winning percentage with the Colts is the third highest for a coach with one franchise trailing only 49ers head coach George Seifert and Oakland’s John Madden.
Tony Dungy became a Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996. Tampa Bay isn’t a bad destination in the 2009 NFL world. Back then it was the black hole of the NFL, a place where coaches went to die.
Tampa hadn’t had a winning record in a non-strike season since 1981 and...