American Football Wiki
Tony Dungy
Tony Dungy
Personal Information
Defensive back / Head coach
Jersey #(s)
21, 27
Born October 6 1955 (1955-10-06) (age 68) in Jackson, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)Weight: 188 lb (85 kg)
Career information
Year(s) 19771979
Undrafted in 1976
College Minnesota
Professional teams

as Player

as Head Coach

Career stats
Coaching Win-loss record 139-69
Winning % 68.8
Games 208
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Anthony Kevin "Tony" Dungy born October 6, 1955) is a former professional American football player and coach in the National Football League. Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008.

Dungy became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.[1] Dungy set a new NFL record for consecutive playoff appearances by a head coach In 2008 after securing his tenth straight playoff appearance with a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.[2][3]

After the 2008 season,[4] Dungy announced his retirement as coach of the Indianapolis Colts, which went into effect after the 20082009 season.[5] Since retirement, Dungy has served as an analyst on NBC's Football Night in America. Tony Dungy is also the national spokesman for the fatherhood program All Pro Dad.[6] The Colts qualified for the playoffs in every season they were coached by Dungy.

NFL playing career[]

After playing quarterback in college for the University of Minnesota, Dungy went undrafted in 1976 and was signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League as a defensive back. He played as a reserve and special teams player for the Steelers in 1977 and the Super Bowl champion 1978 season, leading the team in interceptions in the latter campaign. In 1979 Dungy was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, then finished his career a year later in the training camp of the New York Giants in 1980.

Dungy is the only NFL player since the AFL-NFL merger to intercept a pass and throw an interception in the same game. Dungy was the emergency quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 1977 game against the Houston Oilers when both Terry Bradshaw and Mike Kruczek went down with injuries on October 9, 1977.[7] He played safety on defense.

Coaching career[]

Assistant coaching positions[]

Following his NFL experience as a player, Dungy was invited to become an assistant coach for his alma mater, the University of Minnesota in 1980. After one season in charge of defensive backs, he was asked to come back to the NFL as a coach. He was hired as an assistant coach with the Steelers by Chuck Noll, his former coach, in 1981. His work under Noll put Dungy in the Sid Gillman coaching tree.

In 1982, he was named defensive backfield coach, and was promoted in 1984 to defensive coordinator. He left the Steelers in 1989 to become the defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, and took over the defensive coordinator position for the Minnesota Vikings under Dennis Green in 1992. While at Minnesota, Dungy's defense was ranked first in the NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[]

Dungy achieved his dream of being an NFL head coach when he was hired by Rich McKay to reform the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team well-known for its lack of success, on January 22, 1996. Dungy installed his version of the Cover 2 defense with Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin with a few new wrinkles now known as the famous Tampa 2.


Despite finishing with a 6-10 record in 1996, the Buccaneers finished strong and showed signs of developing into a winning team. After a home win versus the Raiders, the Buccaneers fell to a quick 14–0 hole to the Chargers in San Diego, where the Buccaneers had not won on the west coast in over 15 years. Instead of folding, the team fought to a hard win. Many Bucs fans believe that this was where the long-beleaguered franchise finally turned the corner. It turned out to be the only losing season Dungy would suffer as a head coach.


  • Main article: 1997 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season

In 1997, the Buccaneers finished second in the NFC Central division, Tampa Bay's first winning season since 1982 after starting the season 5-0 matching the only time the Bucs were ever undefeated with as many wins in the 1979 season. In the last game played at Tampa Stadium, the Bucs defeated the Detroit Lions for only their second playoff win in franchise history. They lost the next game to the defending champion Green Bay Packers.


Under Dungy's watch, the Buccaneers made four playoff appearances and won their division in 1999 only to lose to the St. Louis Rams in the NFC Championship Game. Under Dungy, Tampa Bay struggled unsuccessfully to reach the playoffs in 1998. They went on to reach the playoffs again in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Also, in his last three playoff games, Tampa Bay was offensively shut out. Constant changes to the offensive coordinator position despite a successful 2000 offensive ranking were often to blame, as QB Shaun King had to work with 3 different coordinators in 3 years. Dungy was fired on January 14, 2002 due to the club's repeated losses in the playoffs including two lopsided defeats (in 2000 and 2001) to the Philadelphia Eagles. Additionally, owner Malcolm Glazer felt Dungy's conservative offense was too inconsistent against NFL teams. Dungy thus became the first coach in Bucs history to leave the team with a winning record.

The following season, the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII, their first appearance in the championship game. Though Dungy was fired the prior season and replaced with Jon Gruden, Dungy has been credited for constructing the team.[8][9][10]

Indianapolis Colts[]

On January 22, 2002, Dungy was hired as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts,[11] a team that at the time was very potent offensively, but very weak defensively. He installed his "Tampa 2" defense immediately and continued to retool the Colts' defense to his liking during his tenure. After joining the Colts, Dungy left the high-powered offense previously installed there by Jim Mora Sr., in both playing style and in personnel, virtually unchanged. Dungy was reunited with Tom Moore, who was retained as offensive coordinator. Moore and Dungy had previously worked together at Minnesota and Pittsburgh.[12]

During his early tenure in Indianapolis, Dungy struggled to fix the Colts' defense and had mixed results in the postseason. In his first season at Indianapolis the Colts were shut out 41–0 by the New York Jets in a first-round playoff game, and the team lost postseason games to the New England Patriots in both 2003 (in the AFC championship game) and 2004 (in the second round of the playoffs). Dungy signed a three-year contract extension in October 2005[13] for US$ 5 million per year.[14][15]

The Colts focused on defensive improvements during the 2005 offseason, signing five-year defensive tackle Corey Simon. Widely expected to be a Super Bowl contender, the Colts won their first 13 games, prompting much speculation about the possibility of the Colts becoming the NFL's first team to finish the season undefeated since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Their thirteenth win guaranteed the Colts home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With nothing to play for except the chance to go unbeaten, the Colts lost their 14th game to the San Diego Chargers. The Colts only played their starters sparingly in the last two games. The Colts lost in their first playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl winner Pittsburgh Steelers. This loss made the Colts the first team to ever start a season 13–0 and not reach the Super Bowl.

The Colts' 2006 playoff run was characterized by a marked improvement in defensive play, as the Colts defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, holding one of the NFL's best running backs to less than 50 yards, and upset the favored Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round. On January 21, 2007, after trailing 21-3, the Colts defeated the New England Patriots to become AFC Champions and advanced to Super Bowl XLI. This was the largest comeback in conference title game history.[16] By a matter of only a few hours, Dungy became the second African-American coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl. His good friend, Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith, had clinched the NFC's bid in the Super Bowl earlier in the day.

On February 4, 2007, Dungy and the Colts won Super Bowl XLI 29–17 over the Bears at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

On December 23, 2007, with a win over the Houston Texans, Dungy won his 72nd game as Colts head coach, passing Don Shula to become the winningest coach in franchise history.

On January 21, 2008, Dungy announced that he would return at least for the 2008 season.[17]

During the 2008 season the Colts won 12 regular season games, including their last 9 straight clinching a wildcard birth, but were upset 23-17 in overtime by the San Diego Chargers in the wildcard round of the 2008–09 NFL playoffs.


On January 12, 2009, Jim Caldwell who'd been a long time Colts assistant was chosen as the new head coach for the Indianapolis Colts after being named Dungy's future successor a year earlier. On November 1, 2010, the Colts added Tony Dungy's name to the Colts Ring of Honor located on the middle balcony on the east side of Lucas Oil Stadium.


In June 2009, NBC Sports hired Dungy to serve as a studio color analyst on the network's weekly Sunday Night Football pregame show, Football Night in America.

Coaching firsts[]

Dungy's career has included several notable firsts. Among them, Dungy is the first NFL head coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams.[18] He was also the youngest assistant coach at age 25[18] and the youngest coordinator at age 28[18] in NFL history.

Dungy was the first African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl (with the Colts' victory over the Bears in 2007). He was the third black head coach to win a pro football championship in North America, behind Darren Arbet of the San Jose Sabercats (Arena Football League) who won ArenaBowl XVI in 2002 and Pinball Clemons of the Toronto Argonauts (Canadian Football League) who won the 92nd Grey Cup in 2004.

Dungy also became the sixth man to play in a Super Bowl and be the head coach of a Super Bowl team. He joins Dan Reeves, Sam Wyche, Mike Ditka, Forrest Gregg and Tom Flores. After the win in Super Bowl XLI, Dungy became the third man to win Super Bowls both as a player and a head coach, following Ditka and Flores.


  1. February 4, 2007
  2. Three seasons with Tampa Bay from 1999-2001, seven seasons with Indianapolis from 2002-2008
  3. Blogs " Blog Archive Dungy sets NFL record as Colts secure spot ". (2008-12-19). Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
  4. January 12, 2009
  5. Aaron Kuriloff (2009-01-12). Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy Retires From NFL. Bloomberg.
  6. NFL Spokesmen. All Pro Dad. Retrieved on 2010-09-27.
  7. Chuck Finder. "Colts' coach Dungy preaches what he practices", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2006-01-13. 
  11. Dungy's time with the Colts. The Indianapolis Star (2008-01-22).
  12. Mark Maske. "Less without Moore", The Washington Post, 2007-02-03. 
  13. "Dungy leaves open possibility of retiring", 2006-01-17. 
  14. Belichick stands Pat: signs back long tenure. Boston Herald (2007-07-25).
  15. Mike Chappell (2008-01-10). How long will Tony Dungy walk the sideline?. The Indianapolis Star.
  16. "Manning's greatest drive not uphill, even though it felt that way", 2007-01-22. 
  17. Mike Chappell (2008-01-22). Dungy will return for 2008 season. The Indianapolis Star.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Tony Dungy bio. The Indianapolis Colts. Retrieved on 2007-02-05.

External links[]