Tony Dungy to Receive 2010 Tuss McLaughry Award

Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy has been chosen as the 2010 recipient of the AFCA’s highest honor, the Tuss McLaughry Award. Dungy will receive the award at the AFCA’s Coach of the Year Dinner on January 12 at the 2010 AFCA Convention in Orlando, Fla.

The Tuss McLaughry Award, established in 1964, is given to a distinguished American (or Americans) for the highest distinction in service to others. It is named in honor of DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry, the first full-time secretary-treasurer of the AFCA and one of the most dedicated and influential members in the history of the association.

“Receiving the Tuss McLaughry Award from the AFCA is such a tremendous honor because this award is given for service to others,” Dungy said. “When I began my coaching career for Chuck Noll in 1981, the7 told me my job as a coach was to ‘help my players be the best that they could be, on and off the field.’ I always kept that in mind and tried to serve my players as best I could. Getting this award from the AFCA is a great finishing touch to my coaching career.”

Dungy has been involved in a wide variety of charitable organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, Mentors for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Prison Crusade Ministry and All Pro Dad. He also works with Basket of Hope, Indiana Black Expo, the United Way of Central Indiana, and the American Diabetes Association.

Dungy kicked off his coaching career in 1980, as the defensive backs coach at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. In 1981, at age 25, Dungy became assistant coach for the Steelers, and then three years later was promoted to defensive coordinator. He spent three years (1989-91) as a defensive backs coach with the Kansas City Chiefs before taking the defensive coordinator position with the Minnesota Vikings. After four years with the Vikings, Dungy landed his first head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996.

As the Buccaneers head coach, Dungy compiled a 54-42 regular-season record and earned four playoff appearances from 1996-2001. He guided Tampa Bay to the NFC Central Division title and the NFC Championship Game in 1999.

In 2002, Dungy became head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and directed the franchise to a 85-27 regular-season record, seven playoff appearances, five AFC South titles, two AFC Championship Game appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XLI.

Dungy finished his six-year tenure in Tampa and his seven-year stint in Indy as the career leader in victories for both franchises, finishing with an overall record of 148-79. Dungy also set league records for most consecutive playoff seasons (10) and consecutive 12-win seasons (six), and retired with the highest average of regular-season victories of any coach in league history (10.7).

In an era when there are few minority head coaches, Dungy helped open the door to rising stars and a growing number of minority candidates. Among those from his Tampa Bay staff who have had head coaching jobs were former New York Jets and Kansas City head coach, Herm Edwards, Chicago’s Lovie Smith and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.

A former quarterback at the University of Minnesota (1973-76), Dungy finished as the school’s career leader in pass attempts (576), completions (274), passing yards (3,577) and touchdown passes (25). He rushed 413 times for 1,345 yards and 16 touchdowns, earning the team’s Most Valuable Player Award two times.  As a senior, he played in the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl and the Japan Bowl. 

Upon completion of his career, he ranked fourth in Big Ten history in total offense behind Mike Phipps, Archie Griffin and Bob Griese.  As a junior, he set a school season record with 15 touchdown passes, leading the Big Ten and ranking fifth nationally in total offense and passing.  As a freshman, he played for the 1973-74 Golden Gophers basketball team.  He averaged 2.6 points per game before concentrating on football.  Dungy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Dungy signed as a free agent with the Steelers in May of 1977.  He was converted from quarterback to wide receiver to safety, and when he made the team, he was the first free agent to make the Steelers’ final roster in two seasons.  Dungy played in 14 games as a rookie, intercepting three passes.  In a game against Houston that season, with QBs-Terry Bradshaw and Mike Kruczek injured, he completed three-of-eight passes for 43 yards and rushed three times for eight yards.  In that game, he intercepted a pass and threw an interception.

In 1978, he played in 16 games, starting twice and ranking second in the AFC with six interceptions.  He helped secure a 15-9 victory over Cleveland with a last-play interception that he returned 65 yards.  He played in the Steelers’ 35-31 victory over Dallas in Super Bowl XIII, then the following year in training camp, was traded to San Francisco for a 1980 10th-round draft choice.  He played in 15 games for the 49ers, then was traded to the New York Giants before the following season.

Dungy has written three books, “Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life,” “Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance,” and a 24-page children’s picture book called “You Can Do It.”

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