Former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy - Photo by: Getty Images
Tony Dungy, the man largely responsible for turning around a long-suffering franchise in Tampa Bay before leading the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl Championship, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
The announcement was made on Saturday, joining Dungy, who was in his fourth year of eligibility, with Eddie DeBartolo, Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel as members of the 2016 class.
A young and upcoming defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings, Dungy was hired by the Glazers in 1996 to be the Bucs sixth head coach in franchise history. After a 6-10 mark in his first year, his only losing season in 13 years as a head coach (Bucs and Colts), Dungy would lead Tampa Bay to four playoff appearances, including a trip to the NFC championship game in 1999, during his tenure from 1996-2001.
The Bucs were a consistent contender under Dungy and developed one of the league’s most dominant defenses, one that featured a style – Tampa 2 – that Dungy was instrumental in creating and, as a result of the Bucs’ success, set trends for the rest of the NFL. Though after two straight first-round postseason losses to the Eagles in 2000 and 2001, ownership decided to move on, ending a respectable career for Dungy in Tampa.
It didn’t take long for Dungy to find a new home however. Before Tampa Bay even landed its next head coach, Dungy was hired by the Colts. His defense, combined with a Peyton Manning-led offense, made for perfect combination in Indy. From 2002-2008, the Colts compiled an 85-27 record, including five divisional crowns and Super Bowl victory in 2006. Dungy became the first African American coach to reach the milestone.
His accomplishments have paved the way for many to follow, as Dungy has one of the most impressive coaching trees in NFL history. From Lovie Smith to Jim Caldwell to Rod Marinelli, Dungy’s legacy is undeniable and a big reason for his induction.
Dungy, the author of the book Quite Strength, is also the first head coach to earn 10 consecutive postseason trips (1999-2008) as well as beat all 32 NFL teams.
Unfortunately for Bucs fans, safety John Lynch didn’t receive enough votes to be elected to this year’s class.
John Lynch’s eleven years in Tampa (1993-2003) consisted of five Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pros, NFL Alumni Defensive Back of the Year (2000), and of course a Super Bowl victory in 2002. When he was drafted in 1993, the Buccaneers were among the worst teams in the league; his first three years were the last of a record stretch of 10-loss seasons. But when Dungy and company took over, the hard-hitting safety became an integral part of the Tampa 2 defense.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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Pathetic, owners should be a separate category if even considered at all. One guy I never heard of. Yet no Lynch (9 pro bowls!). Stabler should have been inducted years ago, the putrid voters give it to him after he’s dead to assuage their guilt. Too late-their still guilty, and guess what; he doesn’t care any longer.
Congratulations coach. It was overdue.
I agree. Owners do not belong in the HOF
I’ll always be grateful for the work Dungy did here. But facts are, he inherited the two HOF players (#55 and #99) and the one who was up for consideration (#47, who made the team what it was, and certainly reaped the benefits of having a first ballot HOF QB Manning in Indy. My opinion is, if he weren’t so stubborn on offense our Buccaneers may have gone to the Super Bowl multiple times before the window started to close in 2003. Yes, Tony is well respected and a wonderful human being. Drdneast may not like him since he’s in the “millionaire boys club”. I’m just not sure he’s a HOF coach of the same caliber as Shula, Noll and Lombardi. Does he consider himself a Colt or Buccaneer?
I agree, that owners don’t belong in the HOF.
Scubog, I have to agree. He was a good coach, but IMO not a HOF’er. He was very stubborn when it came to offense, and we could never get over the hump b/c of it. His defense was never anything special in Indy, and only got the 1 super bowl b/c he had one of the greatest QB of all time.
Scubog , agree. I’m not happy trhat Lynch was ignored again. It’s not his fault that head hitting was allowed durig his entire career. I have said this for all professional sports time and again, the players should be doing the voting and no one else when it comes to All Pro and HOF.
I can’t stand fan voting especially in todays electronic multiple possibilities.
Exactly. Well said. Love Tony Dungy. Just not a HOFer.
Congrats Tony Dungy!
It doesn’t matter how you got there. The same folks that voted the others in, voted you in and that’s all that matters – they say you belong. You’re in forever and nobody can take you out. Enjoy the company of the other NFL men that share the honor with you.
Can’t get that excited over Dungy anymore. I see him as a Colt coach. Glad he got recognized though.
I’m going to get slammed for this but…… IMO Tony Dungy is not a first ballot Hall of Fame HC. In fact, if not for race he would not have been considered at all and if not for Peyton Manning he would never have won a single Super Bowl.
Tony Dungy is a good man, has high moral standards who continues to set a great example as far as selflessness and giving to the community are concerned. He turned around the Buccaneers, from a laughing stock to a team good enough to get to the NFC Championship Game more than once. He built a great defense, one of the best in the modern era. All true.
But a Hall of Fame HC with his record? No, not IMO.
I imagine he’ll be on the Buccaneer Ring of Honor soon, maybe added next season. That will be before the only HC ever to have won a Super Bowl here and with less wins. That is honor enough and one we probably all could get behind.
I almost feel bad about typing this as a Buccaneer fan but it is how I feel about it.
All that typed, congratulations to Tony Dungy for getting in. Whether I agree with it ir not it is a great honor.
Garv, Agree. First Black Coach should have been Mick Tomlin Pittsburgh Coach with 3 superbowl rings; 1 as a Buc Assistant Defensive Coach and 2 as Pittsburgh Steeler Head Coach. Of course he hasn’t retired yet.
opps: Mike not Mick
So true Garv. Good man and good coach, not HOF. Brooks, Sapp, and Lynch were here already. And for all the people that say that Gruden won with his team, go back and look at the 2 rosters(2001 and 2002) there is a difference of about 25 players. That is almost half of the active roster.
So many great memories at RaJay from that era. Never missed a game unless sick or something. Was really hoping Lynch would get in. One of favorite players and safeties.
You Know I’m loathe to give advice to my PR bretheren. But sometimes it is better to take the high road, than to quibble about a matter of fact.
Here is the definition for a HOF coach – A coach that has been legitimately voted to the HOF.
Tony Dungy is a HOF coach. Any argument beyond this point is tantamount to looking up a dead dog’s A$$.
But some of us have a bicycle pump attached to his rear and we’re just a pumpin and a sweatin’ as though we’re going to change the outcome!
This one is over, get used to it, Tony Dungy is a HOF coach.
Remember these famous words – The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here. So get it out of your system if you must. But just remember, it changes nothing, and in a few days nobody cares!
If the Glazers didn’t fire Dungy we would have never become a complete enough team to make it to the Super Bowl. While he was a fine leader and D-coordinator, as a head coach he was overrated. That’s all people are saying.
Macabee; I think Dungy is a great person and supported him as the Buc Coach and was pissed when he was fired. I was happy as heck he got his Superbowl as a Head Coach. I’m fine he is now in the HOF; Lynch should already be there and Mike Tomlin is a no brainer too when he retires.
I’ve believe he is well deserved, and I do really think Tampa should have won at least two more superbowls with Dungry at the helm. But Glazers decided to make a change. and that as the owners they can do that. But Coach Dungy I hope down the road would come back to Tampa as GM one of the days-Go Bucs
Lynch doesn’t belong in the HoF.
I love Dungy and Lynch but both aren’t hall of fame material candidates yes but entry? NO. Dungy rebuilt the Bucs into contenders went through 4 offensive coordinators during his tenure got fired lack of knowledge on offense or hiring the right man to do so. Lynch was a very good safety better than Adrian Wilson, Brian Dawkins, Darren Sharper, Rodney Harrison, or Steven Atwater? No, as good yes but to say Lynch is better than those guys mentioned I will disagree with
Dungy rebuilt Bucs into a contender, Gruden rebuilt Raiders into a contender, Dungy led a already established team to super bowl, Gruden led an already established team to SB so does this mean Gruden is hall of fame also?
I like Tony Dungy. Not only do I like him and respect him, I think he is a better man than me with more character. I wish I was half the man Tony Dungy was.
With that said, I don’t think Tony Dungy belongs in the Hall of Fame and feel like this was an affirmative action vote.
Many coaches have built teams into Super Bowl winners and if you ask me, Gruden did a better job of rebuilding an aging Bucs team and offense to make one last stab at a SB trophy. The gamble worked but it was costly (2 No. 1’s and 2 No. 2 draft picks.)
He even did it with an aging journeyman QB.
Lynch should have gone in.
Dungy is in and that’s that. He won his Super Bowl in Indy, but he did it his way, with grace and defense. Peyton Manning has been horrible in the playoffs for most of his career. Dungy won his SB with great rushing defense, Safety Bob Sanders and Adam Viniatieri primarily. They beat the Larry Johnson led Chiefs 23-8, the Jamal Lewis led Ravens with 5 field goals 15-6, and had the biggest comeback in AFC Championship history against the Patriots who melted down in the second half after leading 21-3 in Indy and lost 38-34. The Lovie Smith Bears lost the Super Bowl 29-17(on 3 fg’s and one defensive td, one offensive td on a blown assignment by the bears secondary-shocker, and one rushing TD) in what was the first time not just one but two African American HC coached in the Super Bowl. Does the fact that Tony was the first AAHC to win matter? Of course. It’s historic. He also made a huge contribution to the game. Like a Bill Walsh of defense. The Tampa Two was mimicked for the next decade and still is referred to as such. Congrats to Tony Dungy!
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