Tony Dungy is a household name in almost every home in America. From his time as a player to a Super Bowl winning coach to an expert broadcaster and analyst, Dungy has been on our TV screen throughout the football season since 1977.
But Dungy is more than just a football legend. He’s a husband, father and author.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. Dungy Won Two Super Bowls — One as a Player and one as a Coach
Dungy’s first Super Bowl in came in 1978, when he was on the Steelers’ special teams. The Steelers beat the Cowboys, 35-31. That season, Dungy led the team in interceptions. He signed with the team as a free agent in 1976 after going undrafted. In 1979, he was traded to the 49ers, and his playing career ended in 1980 after attending the Giants’ training camp.
His second Super Bowl was in 2006, as a coach with the Colts. Dungy was the second African American coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl. The first was Lovie Smith of the Bears, who had done it earlier that day. The Colts would then face the Bears in the Super Bowl, coming out on top, 29-17. With the win, Dungy became the first African American coach to win a Super Bowl.
Dungy retired on January 12, 2009, and was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor on November 1, 2010.
His coaching career ended with a 139-69 record, good for a 68.8 percent win percentage. He was the first coach to beat all 32 teams in the league.
2. Dungy Was Against Using the Term ‘Redskins’ in 2014
In 2009, Dungy began his broadcasting career as the color analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America.
In August, 2014, Dungy and Phil Simms took a stand against using the controversial term “Redskins” when they discussing the team, whether through actual coverage or mentioning them in other games, according to the Washington Post.
I will personally try not to use Redskins and refer to them as Washington. Personal opinion for me, not the network.
3. Dungy Missed Out on the Pro Football Hall of Fame This Season
Dungy was on the Hall of Fame ballot for 2015, but wasn’t elected.
According to CBS Sports, Dungy set the league record for playoff appearances by a coach with 10.
In addition to taking the Colts to the Super Bowl in 2006, he all but created the Buccaneers that won the Super Bowl in 2003. Dungy started with the Bucs in 1996 and took the team from a laughing stock to Super Bowl contenders — and eventual winners.
4. Dungy Has Been Married to Lauren Harris Since 1982
According to the Huffington Post, Tony married Lauren on June 19, 1982.
In 2014, the couple released a book called Uncommon Marriage, which tells the story of their relationship from the beginning to the day it was published — including all the highs and lows.
Dungy told the Post that they were reluctant to do the book at first — thinking that they wouldn’t have much to say.
At first, we were very hesitant, not thinking we would have much to share. But we were involved in a couple’s Bible study and we had a lot of conversation about marriage in that study. In the past, it always seemed we were one of the younger couples, asking for advice in our Bible studies. But suddenly, we looked around and we were one of the older couples. So we felt we might have some things to share from our experiences, from lessons we’d learned from other couples, and especially from what we had read in the Bible. We also felt that society was not holding marriage in the high esteem that it needed to be held, so we wanted to address that as well.
Together, the couple have seven children, two daughters and five sons; Tiara, Jade, James, Eric, Jordan, Justin and Jason.
5. The Couple’s Oldest Son Committed Suicide in 2005
The oldest of the Dungys’ sons, James, committed suicide on December 22, 2005. He was 18 at the time. According to CBC Sports, James hanged himself.
His funeral was held in Tampa Bay and attended by players and coaches from around the league, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Dungy said during the funeral that it put a lot of things into perspective for him.
To win one for the city of Indianapolis and our organization and [owner] Jim Irsay, that’s what it’s all about. Our team is very close, and these guys are close to me, and we shared some special moments. But that’s not what the playoffs are all about. With my son’s situation and our family, it puts it all into perspective. I always thought that the playoffs are great and the Super Bowl’s great, but it’s not the most important thing in the world.
Peyton Manning was in attendance and said, “There’s nothing that prepared our team for what happened to our coach and his family. That was a true life-changing event, a true tragedy.”