Tony Dungy Tidbit
Former NFL Coach Tony Dungy was on the campus of USF this afternoon. Dungy is a former Buccaneers' and Colts' Head Coach & Current NBC Analyst.
I'm sure the swirl of rumors that he could be the next head coach of USF will soon follow, but in the meantime here is the main reason for his visit.
The Bulls held their first team meeting since Leavitt was fired and Carl Franks was named interim head Coach. With uncertainty surrounding the program Coach Dungy spoke at the team meeting in a motivational capacity.
Dungy is one of the most respected people in this county, both football and non football related. He's been around the USF program before and many of the staff has a relationship with Dungy. He stated his tenure as the Buc's head coach right around the same time as USF started to play football. Both the Buc's shared a similar growth and progression to becoming respectable football teams. He has a tremendous amount of love and loyalty to the USF program, and also has a degree of passion for the Bulls.
With all the questions surrounding the coaching change, Dungy is a very calming influence and commands your attention. He's respected by coaches, and can relate to all levels of athletes from NFL players to College athletes to High school players and down to Pop Warner. It be an honor for any team to have him address the squad in hard times, and I couldn't think of anybody better then Dungy to do that.
Dungy can relate to the USF players with what they are going through. He built the Buccaneers into play-off contenders during his tenure, and a team that people were proud to be fans of. But after all he did, he was fired by the team before seeing the Promised Land. At the same time Dungy can tell the team to keep their heads up and sometime change can be difficult, but good things can still come from it. The year after Dungy was fired new Buccaneer coach Jon Gruden led the team to their first Super Bowl title in their history.
Could there be a better guy to address the team at a time like this? I think not.
Tony Dungy along with Jon Gruden (Former NFL Coach for the Buccaneers and Raiders and Current ESPN Analyst) have been fan fodder for the USF coaching gig long before Leavitt's dismissal Friday, and they have picked up since. So I'll play along for a minute.
Both have connections to Tampa, houses, family and children who play football in the Tampa Bay area. With both coaches' sons winning tournaments that were played on the campus of USF.
Gruden's son Deuce Gruden played in USF's 2009 Sling and shoot in the small school division whre Carrollwood Day School won the title with a 13-12 come from behind victory over the Plant 2 team. Quarterback Billy Embody hit running back Darius Bing for the game-tying touchdown and Deuce Gruden, the son of football analyst and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer coach Jon Gruden, caught the game-winning extra-point conversion pass to win it for Carrollwood Day.
USF Recruiting Coordinator/RB Coach Karl Franks & Analyst & former Buc's head Coach John Gruden
USF Offensive Coordinator Mike Format & Analyst & former Buc's head Coach John Gruden.
Dungy's son Eric Dungy is a WR/S for Plant high school. He played in several tournaments at USF including the Scout.com 7 on 7 tourny on Team Tampa making it to the final 4 in '09, and in the 2008 Sling and Shoot where Plant won it in 2008. Eric Dungy had an interception in that game.
Former Indy/Buc's Head coach Tony Dungy & Coach Jim Leavitt 2009
Indianapolis Head Coach Tony Dungy & USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt
I'm sure fans would love to have either coach, with both being NFL guys and also having huge names. Recruits would be drawn to their names and resumes, and both are extremely personable.
Everybody knows Gruden wants to coach again and at 46, he is in his prime. But I don't see him as a real option.
Dungy may not be realistic, especially with the USC gig available, but is more so than Gruden. He's been by USF many times and has a relationship with USF. Not to mention his son Eric is graduating this year and was offered by USF. An opportunity to coach your son in college could be a fathers dream.
Dungy's name is linked to winning football and for being a great role model and mentor. Just imagine Tony in a kid's living room and asking them to come to USF.
There's been no word if he's been offered the job or wants it, but what great food for thought and internet fodder it makes.
Tony Dungy on USF Campus Today
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