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Tony Dungy

by Will from Toronto

Tony Dungy ( ())
Tony Dungy ( ())

Anthony "Tony" Dungy was born October 6th 1955 in Jackson Michigan. His love for the game of football became evident at a young age while attending Parkside High School as he played quarterback.  He would then go the University of Minnesota to play on the football team, to play as a defensive back. He finished his collegiate football career but unfortunately, was not drafted by an NFL team. Nonetheless, he overcame that adversity and signed a professional contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, showing his incredible work ethic, competitiveness and love for the game of football. His NFL career did not last long though, as he only played three full seasons before playing his final game in 1979. His love and passion for football did not die however, as he found another way to be involved in the game.  Because he could not play at a professional level, he decided to coach.

In 1981 he was offered an assistant coaching position by the Pittsburgh Steelers and through hard work, determination and his incredible knowledge of football, he quickly rose through the ranks of the coaching staff and was promoted to defensive coordinator. The entire NFL became aware of the amazing coach and person that Tony had become and in 1996 his dream about being a NFL coach was fulfilled, as he became the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would go on to be successful as a head coach in Tampa Bay, but his real success came when he was hired by the Indianapolis Colts in 2002. The Colts under Dungy quickly became one of the best teams in the NFL and in 2006, they won the superbowl, the greatest feat that any coach could obtain. Dungy had also made another achievement that day, Dungy became the first African-American coach to ever win the Superbowl. He truly overcame all odds, overcame the racial boundary and succeeded in a way nobody thought possible of him.

He would retire from football in 2009, but his amazing leadership, triumphs and football knowledge still live on today. He will be remembered in football history for incorporating and developing a game changing coaching strategy (the 'Tampa 2" which is still used widely around the league), being a role model and mentoring numerous future NFL coaches and players, and inspiring and instilling great values into young football players and people everywhere. His legacy would not diminish after football however as today he is involved in many outreach programs, such as All-Pro Dad and the Boys and Girls Club, displaying his amazing leadership and skills to children around America, he has also published two outstanding and inspiring books, Quiet Strength (a New York times bestseller) and Uncommon.

Dungy has truly become a hero in my mind because he is a tremendous role model and person to admire and look up to. Dungy faced many racial boundaries and other obstacles throughout his football career, yet he followed his dreams and overcame them.  His love of football did not die when his career as a player ended, he showed incredible courage, strength and hard work and achieved all his ambitions, proving how amazing a man he is. I have also found inspiration from his book Quiet Strength that I have read it and it truthfully helped and motivated me to have strong values and become a better leader.

He has impacted me tremendously through his book, his remarkable journey through the NFL and his amazing determination in achieving his goals.  He has taught me to become a hard worker, a good leader, and to never give up on my ambitions.  He has been a great person to look up to and has truly become my hero.

Page created on 12/21/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 12/21/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Bibliography

, . "Pro Football Reference." [Online] Available http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/DungTo0.htm.