Sports Outside the Beltway

Tony Dungy Retires

Tony Dungy is calling it quits, ESPN reports.

The Indianapolis Colts have scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon, presumably to announce the retirement of coach Tony reported Monday that Dungy will step down after seven seasons in Indianapolis. The news conference is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET at the team’s practice facility, although the Colts did not given a reason early Monday for their announcement.

A source told that Dungy has talked his decision over with family members and they decided it was the best time for him to step aside. Dungy, the source said, was at the team’s complex in Indianapolis on Monday morning saying goodbyes to players and team employees.

The Colts have designated associate coach Jim Caldwell as Dungy’s eventual replacement.

Since winning the Super Bowl after the 2006 season, Dungy has thought long and hard each offseason about how much longer he really wants to work in the NFL. He said after the Colts’ overtime playoff loss to the San Diego Chargers in the AFC wild-card game nine days ago that he would spend about a week deciding whether to return for an eighth season as coach.

He spent much of that time in Tampa, Fla., where his wife Lauren and children moved full-time about a year ago. The Dungys had the week to contemplate his future with the Colts, but a trip to New York for son Jordan’s surgery on a broken leg occupied their time. Jordan Dungy is back home in Florida and doing well after surgery.

In Dungy’s 13 seasons as a head coach, including six with Tampa Bay, he’s put together a sparkling resume.  He has 148 career wins, including playoffs, and ranks 19th all-time in victories. He’s the only black coach to win a Super Bowl, the first coach in league history to reach the postseason in 10 consecutive seasons and the only coach to preside over six straight seasons of 12 wins or more.

This isn’t shocking.  Dungy’s been hinting at retirement for the last couple of years and, certainly, being an NFL head coach is a grueling job.   My guess is that work with prison ministry and so forth won’t provide the same level of challenge and satisfaction that he gets from coaching and that he’ll be back in two or three years.

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