Guest / Limited Access /

Tony Dungy, the Indianapolis Colts head coach who led his team to the Super Bowl title in February, is a man with "class, dignity, grace, and poise," writes ESPN.com's Michael Smith. San Francisco Chronicle writer Ira Miller calls him "a real role model, a rare tower of dignity. Other coaches would do well to copy him." Colts punter Hunter Smith says Dungy is "a wonderful man of God" and "one of the greatest men I've ever met."

But Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Telander has a different take: "There is a part of Dungy's philosophy that troubles me … and that is his insistence on making proper coaching not just a matter of good heart but of religious zeal, even dogma."

In March, Dungy, author of a new book published by Tyndale House, Quiet Strength, addressed the Indiana Family Institute, where he embraced its stance supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Critics accused him of intolerance. Randy Boyd, writing for BeyondChron.com, San Francisco's "alternative online daily," lamented that Dungy had "chosen to align himself with … an organization whose purpose is to force its biblical will on America and oppress all things homosexual" and that Dungy "apparently has no love for me and 'my kind.'"

Dungy, 51, takes it all in stride.

"I wasn't really surprised by the reactions," he said. "Any time you are not politically correct, you're going to have people who disagree with you. That doesn't bother me."

One thing is certain: Dungy is cool under fire—even in the midst of tragedy. When his 18-year-old son, James, committed suicide in December 2005, a watching world wondered how he would react. Dungy missed the team's next game against the Seattle Seahawks ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Recommended33 Under 33
Subscriber Access Only 33 Under 33
Meet the Christian leaders shaping the next generation of our faith.
TrendingReligious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More Complicated
Religious Freedom vs. LGBT Rights? It's More Complicated
The legal context for what's happening at Gordon College, and how Christians can respond despite intense cultural backlash.
Editor's PickMeet the Failed Pastor Who Ministers to Other Failed Pastors
Meet the Failed Pastor Who Ministers to Other Failed Pastors
J. R. Briggs sympathizes with church leaders who don't live up to expectations.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

Christianity Today
A Kinder, Gentler Coach
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.