Dungy Finds New Field

January 14, 2009

coach-tony-dungy

The end of an era has sadly come. I am not a fan particularly of the Indianapolis Colts, but I am an admirer of their coach.  Or, I should say, I am an admirer of their now former coach. 

Tony Dungy announced his retirement from coaching yesterday.  (See ESPN article.)

It is a loss not only to the Colts organization, but to fans of NFL football, and for sport in general.  Dungy carried himself with class and character that exceeded even his tremendous Win-Loss record.   He was a develpor of young men and used football as his training ground. He was a coach for all the best reasons.

When asked if he thought he might come back into coaching, as so many others have done after brief retirements, Dungy said he didn’t anticipate it, but left that door open.  But I suspect he will not return.

Unlike other coaches, for whom football is life, Dungy’s life is rooted deeply in Jesus Christ. In that regard his life has not, and will not change.  His love is expressed through developing others.  To date those others have been professional football players.  But now, apparently, those others will be young men in Inner City Indianapolis.  His life has not changed, it is still rooted in Jesus.  Only the players and playground have shifted.  

Dungy will now “coach” on a stage that receives little applause. But Dungy is a man who has demonstrated he is not seeking applause, but to serve and give.  And for that reason I suspect he will find no reason to return to the NFL.  Because he is a man who expresses his faith through love, I believe Dungy will still receive applause – the applause of Heaven.

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