Quiet Strength

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: February 6, 2011

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — Tony Dungy has changed the face of the National Football League. Signed as a free agent in 1977, Dungy played defense for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl XIII team.

At the age of 25, he became the youngest assistant coach in NFL history. Three years later, he became the youngest defensive coach in league history. This was only the beginning of his coaching career.

Dungy finally received a head coaching position in 1998 at Tampa Bay.

He guided the Buccaneers from a doormat — a team that had 13 losing seasons — to one of the premier teams of the NFL.

He did this in two years, something unheard of in the NFL.

Four years ago, Dungy coached the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl title against one of his protégés head coach — Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears

Another Dungy protégé, Pittsburgh Steeler head coach Mike Tomlin won the Super Bowl two years ago and is going for another ring this Sunday in Dallas.

Two years, Jim Caldwell took over Dungy’s Colts and last year he took the Indy to another Super Bowl. However, they lost to the New Orleans Saints.

This year, Tomlin’s Steelers and Smith’s Bears each reached their respective Conference Championship game. The Dungy coaching tree continues to grow and plant its secure roots with victories.

Sunday will mark the fourth time an African American head coach will be coaching in the Super Bowl (Tomlin twice), so the Rooney Rule is working and working very well.

Tomlin became the youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl two years ago and now has a chance to win his second Lombardi Trophy.

Let it be told that this is the 10th year in a row that a Black coach has guided a team into the playoffs.

It wouldn’t have never happened without the Rooney Rule.

Previously, NFL owners would have never had a chance to interview coaches like Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier or Tampa’s Raheem Morris.

After taking over for Brad Childress in the middle of the year, Frazier went 3-3 for Minnesota and was given the full time job at the end of the season.

Under Morris, Tampa Bay went from a last place showing two years ago to one game from a playoff spot. Both of these individuals should guide their teams to the playoffs soon.

Under the Dungy coaching tree: “there are no scandals, no foot fetishes, no trash talking, no cheating, no cussing out reporters or other unseemly or illicit activities that would bring shame to the team or the profession.”

The National Football League needs to return to the basics. Something the Dungy Tree has made very clear. The Church and the Lord can be called the center of Dungy’s teams and Dungy’s coaches.

All of the Dungy coaches are quiet, strong, and yet demanding and commanding respect from the league, players, and coaches.

All of the Dungy coaches lean on the church for guidence and have an even temperament. Their attitude helps in a league that does not want to see a Black coach succeed.

They are all defy the odds and will continue to succeed with this attitude. Dungy coaches take on the reponsibilities and take on challenges the NFL brings every year.

As a life long Oakland Raider fan it is very difficult for me to root for the Black and Gold. But to root for head coach Mike Tomlin, this is a no brainer.

Go Steelers!!