Anthony Kevin ‘Tony’ Dungy is a former American football player, who eventually became the first African-American head coach to win the Super Bowl. Tony coached mainly two franchisees of NFL (National Football League) namely the Tumpa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts. He achieved a unique feat in NFL history by appearing in ten consecutive seasons. After hanging his boots as a coach, he served as an analyst on NBC's Football Night in America. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Besides his glorious career as a coach, Dungy was also actively involved in civil rights movements. In the year 2007, the United States Sports Academy felicitated Dungy with the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He published a book ‘Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life’, which featured in the ‘New York Times Best Sellers’ list. He has spoken and shared his thoughts about several subjects including sports, leadership, integrity, goal, hard work, winning, life etc. We have collected some of his notable quotes from his observations, interviews, speeches etc. Here are some of Tony Dungy quotes illuminating his thoughts.
When I played at Minnesota, Green Bay, those northern cities, Buffalo, they wanted to have those championship games at home. It was going to be an advantage to be there with their fans and the cold weather and all that. But when you've got a Super Bowl, and it's the two best teams, you want ideal conditions. You want to play a great game.
You can't always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach, and response. Your options are to complain or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better.
You should never be defined by what you do, by the things you have; you've got to define yourself by who you are and who you impact and how you impact people. And that's the thing I try to get across to my players.
Everything's not going to go perfect. You're going to have some losses that you're going to have to bounce back from and some things that are a little unforeseen that you're going to have to deal with.
We talked about some of our experiences, focusing, hanging together down the stretch, important games. It's not necessarily who has the most talent but what team sticks together and executes their fundamentals the best.
We have so many young men, especially, who are growing up without their dads. We have to fill that void. We have to do a better job helping young people see what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman. And then, somehow, we have to put that family structure back together.
The reason my kids like McDonald's is that they always know what they're going to get. It's not gourmet food, but the french fries they order in Indianapolis are just like the french fries they order in Tampa. Wherever they get McDonald's fries, they know it will be the same. That's what McDonald's does.
My dad, who was a teacher, used to tell me that a teacher's goal should be for every one of their students to get an A. If that's your goal every day - to make every student or player learn - then it doesn't matter if you won last year or didn't win. When next year's team shows up, I try to help every player become as good as they can be.
The book is actually called 'A Mentor Leader, a Different Way to Lead.' It really talks about my experience in the way I tried lead our football team, things that I learned from, basically, the coaches that I played for and my parents about leadership. And it is a little bit different, counter to maybe what society says about great leaders.
That's the difference between the NCAA and the NFL right now. They've got to step up and say, 'We're going to do the right thing. We're going to hire qualified people. We're going to hire the best man for the job regardless of what boosters or anyone else has to say.'
The narrow path that 'Uncommon' people will take, that the Lord wants you to go down, that really is the ultimate way to go.
I think I've got a responsibility to be home a little bit more, be available to my family a little bit more and do some things to help make our country better. I don't know what that is right now, but we'll see.
Our goal was to win, to win a Super Bowl, but also to win in the right way, to be role models to our community, to represent Indianapolis, the state of Indiana and the National Football League.
Did you know that nearly one in three children live apart from their biological dads? Those kids are two to three times more likely to grow up in poverty, to suffer in school, and to have health and behavioral problems.
You're born with some things inside you that will allow you to lead, but I think you have to take the bull by the horns. You have to want that leadership position, and then there are things you can do to develop that.
As big a deal as the Super Bowl is, it's not the most important thing going on in the planet.
I've always talked to players about perception and reality. I don't worry about perception. There may be some of that, that people want to attach to a good name, but the reality is that some good things can happen.
If people didn't know me and only knew my public persona, what I'd want them to know is everything that I do, I do for the Glory of Lord. Because of my Christian faith, that's who I am. I wasn't always that way, but I'm very proud that I am.
You may not win the Super Bowl. Your kids may not go on to be doctors and lawyers and everything may not go perfectly. That doesn't mean it was a bad plan or the wrong thing. It's just like a football season. Everything's not going to go perfect.
When Jim Irsay called me five years ago, he told me, 'I want you to be our coach and help us win the Super Bowl.' He told me, 'We are going win it the right way. We are going to win it with great guys; win it with class and dignity. We are going to win it in a way that will make Indianapolis proud.'
As humans, we don't know what we should do. We don't have those instincts like God has given animals. We have to see to know where we are going. It is just a natural human emotion to look for people to emulate.
Avoidance doesn’t solve anything; it merely serves as a temporary salve.
I know when I was an assistant coach and I started interviewing for head coaching jobs, I actually lost out on many jobs, several jobs, and the complaint that I got was, 'Well, he doesn't fit the mold of a head coach. He doesn't look the part. He's not gonna jump up and down. He's not going to scream.'
I learned from Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh that speed and explosiveness on defense is the way to build a team. Both are difficult for your opponent to assimilate in practice and then in games it is even harder to match.
My parents had a strong impact on who I am today. My mother and dad both encouraged us to think about the long term - where you wanted to be - to think about education, to think about what is right and what is wrong, and to do things that will help you in the long run.
What did you have the potential to do? And if you came close to that, if you maximized that, then you were a success in God's eyes. So many of us do things that the world would say is successful, but we have so much more potential.
I was with All Pro Dad, and I was coaching. People recognized me as a coach. They might see my face and say, 'What's going on there, is that something with the Colts or the Buccaneers?' Then they realize, 'This is something with my kids; let me explore.' So I think that helped, that name recognition.
All Pro Dad is an organization that started down in Tampa in 1997. And it was just a group of us who felt like we weren't doing as good a job as our fathers did in connecting with kids and being there and being involved in their lives, working and coaching and spending all the time we had to. We just felt badly.
Football was really my least favorite sport and the last sport that I ended up picking up as a kid. My dad started me off with baseball, which most kids did at that time. I really enjoyed basketball. That was my favorite sport.