The countdown to Gopher football has reached single digits. One of the program's most famous alumni, Tony Dungy, represents the nine days left until kickoff. Long before he coached the Colts to a Super Bowl title, Dungy led the Minnesota offense as a quarterback.
At the end of his career in 1976, Dungy held Minnesota records for passing yardage (3,515) and total offense (4,680), and was fourth in Big Ten history in total offense. He now ranks ninth in Gopher history in both those categories, and eighth in touchdown passes (25). Dungy earned All-Big Ten Second Team and team MVP accolades both his junior and senior years. The 1976 team captain excelled on and off the field, twice earning Academic All-Big Ten honors and winning the Big Ten Medal of Honor as a senior.
Dungy went on to play defensive back in the NFL, for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1977-78) and San Francisco 49ers (1979). He won Super Bowl XIII with Pittsburgh. In 1980, he started his coaching career as an assistant coach for the Gophers. Dungy then assisted three different NFL teams.
His first NFL head coaching job came with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he started in 1996. In 2002, Dungy took over as the Indianapolis Colts' head coach. He became the first African-American coach to win an NFL title when the Colts won Super Bowl XLI. He is also the first NFL head coach to beat all 32 teams.
Dungy retired in 2008, but has remained involved in football and in the community. He has written books, appeared on air as a football analyst and given his time and resources to various causes. Dungy was awarded the NCAA's prestigious Theodore Roosevelt Award earlier this year.
- ESPN tabbed Dungy the 20th-best coach in NFL history
- Dungy visited the Gophers' practice in spring 2012