Tony Dungy Indianapolis Colts & Tampa Bay Buccaneers
“The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better.”
Tony Dungy, a former NFL defensive back, advanced through the coaching ranks following his playing career. He earned his first head coaching position in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and over the next 13 seasons, that included seven years with the Indianapolis Colts, he racked up 148 total victories.
Dungy’s career in coaching began in 1980 with the University of Minnesota before jumping back to the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1981 where he rose to become the team’s defensive coordinator. He coached three years for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1989 to 1991 and then was named the defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings from 1992 to 1995.
Dungy took over a Buccaneers team in 1996 that had suffered 12 double-digit loss seasons in the previous 13 years before his arrival. The fortunes of the franchise quickly changed under his leadership. By his second season, the team finished 10-6 and earned a playoff berth. Two seasons later, in 1999, the Bucs posted an 11-5 record and clinched the franchise’s first divisional title since 1981. After six seasons in Tampa Bay, that included four trips to the playoffs, Dungy was relieved of his duties.
Eight days after his dismissal by the Bucs, Dungy was hired by Indianapolis. Under his guidance, the Colts enjoyed success never experienced in the franchise’s history. During Dungy’s seven-year reign as Indy’s head coach, the Colts posted 12 or more wins in all of those seasons except his first when they finished 10-6. The team claimed five divisional titles and advanced to the playoffs every year of Dungy’s tenure as coach.
In 2006, Dungy guided the Colts to an AFC South Division title and capped the season with a thrilling 38-34 win over their arch rival New England Patriots in the AFC championship game and a victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Dungy became the first African American head coach ever to win a Super Bowl.
Dungy’s overall record as a NFL head coach was 148-79-0 and that includes a .668 winning percentage in the regular season (139-69-0).