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
RecommendedAshley Judd and Sexism on the Sidelines
Ashley Judd and Sexism on the Sidelines
The frustrations of female sports fans.
TrendingAttempt to Market Anti-Porn Ministry to Mark Driscoll Fans Goes Bad
Attempt to Market Anti-Porn Ministry to Mark Driscoll Fans Goes Bad
Craig Gross on XXXchurch email blast to Resurgence list: 'They sold us your email for a penny.'
Editor's PickWhat Christianophobia Looks Like in America
What Christianophobia Looks Like in America
New Study: Champions of religious freedom tell Christians, 'Keep your faith to yourselves.'
Comments
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.