Tony Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts, signing copies of Uncommon
- 1/27/09 7:00 PM at Bookends – East Ridgewood Ave. Ridgewood, NJ.
- 1/28/09 3:00 PM at Barnes & Noble ? Warren Street. New York, NY.
- 1/28/09 6:00 PM at Last Licks – East 93rd Street. New York, NY.
- 1/31/09 7:00 PM at Barnes & Noble ? North Dale Mabry Highway. Tampa, FL.
- 2/5/09 Noon at the Indiana University Bookstore ? East 7th Street. Bloomington, IN.
Anthony Kevin “Tony” Dungy (born October 6, 1955) is a former professional American football player and coach in the National Football League. Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. He became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007. On December 18, 2008 after securing his tenth straight playoff appearance with a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dungy set a new NFL record for consecutive playoff appearances by a head coach. On January 12, 2009, Dungy announced his retirement as coach of the Indianapolis Colts, which will go into effect after the 2008-2009 season.
Super Bowl–winning coach and #1 New York Times best selling author Tony Dungy has had an unusual opportunity to reflect on what it takes to achieve significance. He is looked to by many as the epitome of the success and significance that is highly valued in our culture. He also works every day with young men who are trying to achieve significance through football and all that goes with a professional athletic career—such as money, power, and celebrity. Coach Dungy has had all that, but he passionately believes that there is a different path to significance, a path characterized by attitudes, ambitions, and allegiances that are all too rare but uncommonly rewarding. Uncommon reveals lessons on achieving significance that the coach has learned from his remarkable parents, his athletic and coaching career, his mentors, and his journey with God. A particular focus of the book: what it means to be a man of significance in a culture that is offering young men few positive role models.
From the Inside Flap
“Success is uncommon, therefore not to be enjoyed by the common man.
I’m looking for uncommon people.”
When Coach Cal Stoll spoke these words to Tony Dungy and the rest of the freshman football team at the University of Minnesota, he likely had no idea how they would be remembered. Dungy carried them with him through his days as a student, as an NFL player, and as the first African American coach to win the Super Bowl. Today, he thinks they are words that the world needs to hear more than ever before.
Tony Dungy believes that his primary job as a coach is to build men worthy of being role models to a nation of boys who look up to them: Men of character, integrity, and courage. Men with both confidence and humility. Men who know the value of family and faith as well as career. And his message to them about how to attain real significance in life is one that many people—not just football players—are desperate to hear.
In a culture that defines success by the size of your salary or by the media frenzy surrounding you, Tony Dungy offers valuable insights on achieving uncommon success and real significance. They just may be the most important lessons—on and off the field—that can be applied to your life today.
Dungy formed his philosophy by taking something from virtually every coach he came in contact with — Noll (as player and then coach in Pittsburgh), Walsh (as player in San Francisco), Schottenheimer (as coach in Kansas City) and Green (as coach in Minnesota) — and blending it with his own beliefs and Christian values.
Dungy stresses that coaches are essentially teachers who put faith and family ahead of football and do not belittle their players or scream at them. Also, like Dungy, they remain calm when things go badly. They guide instead of goad, and Lovie Smith found that perhaps the most instructive thing of all.
- “We talked about how to do it, being a teacher instead of screaming and yelling, all that stuff.”
Smith also said,
- “I think as you look to young coaches coming up in the ranks, a lot of us have a picture of how a coach is supposed to be, how he is supposed to act…And I think what Tony Dungy showed me is you don’t have to act that way.“
- “I really wanted to show people you can win all kinds of ways. I always coached the way I’ve wanted to be coached. I know Lovie has done the same thing. For guys to have success where it maybe goes against the grain, against the culture … I know I probably didn’t get a couple of jobs in my career because people could not see my personality or the way I was going to do it … For your faith to be more important than your job, for your family to be more important than that job … We all know that’s the way it should be, but we’re afraid to say that sometimes. Lovie’s not afraid to say it and I’m not afraid to say it.”
Dungy also learned from Noll that it takes all 53 of the players on the team to win so that a coach should train the 33rd player on the roster as he would the third player, which has become the spine of Dungy’s own coaching philosophy, which is the Next Man Up theory of calm coaching. Dungy stressed that a team should have a thought process, a philosophy and the conviction to stick with it, even if the personnel changes during the games because of injuries. Dungy said,
- “Chuck’s philosophy was to convince every guy on the team that his role was important. If you came in as a free agent and were just a gunner on the punt team or the third safety, you were doing something the team needed to win…It was his way of emphasizing that no one is irreplaceable. You have to coach everybody the same way. If Joe Greene goes out, Steve Furness goes in and we’re not going to change anything. Chuck never panicked when someone got hurt or held out. We can still function. That made a big impression on me.”
Dungy put his coaching beliefs on his memoir, Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life. (ISBN 1-414-31801-4) Cam Cameron, former head coach of the Miami Dolphins, highly recommended the book by buying 1,000 books to give away to football coaches at his preseason coaching clinic in July 2007 in South Florida, and said,
- “It dispelled so many myths about the coaching business — that you had to be a yeller and a screamer to win. You can be your own person, treat people with respect, be very demanding but demanding in a way that doesn’t trample on people. And you don’t have to give up your faith to win in the NFL. It confirmed and re-affirmed an awful lot of the beliefs I held about coaching…”
Dungy’s memoir, Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life, was released on July 10, 2007 and reached No. 1 on the hardcover nonfiction section of the New York Times Best Seller list on August 5, 2007 and again on September 9, 2007. Tyndale House Publishers said it was the first NFL-related book ever ranked No. 1. When asked why he wrote Quiet Strength, Dungy said,
- “It’s not something I ever really thought of doing. I’ve had several people ask me about it for a number of years. Several people asked about it after winning (the Super Bowl). I was hoping, really, not to do it…I think it becomes kind of what happens. You win a Super Bowl, you have a big achievement, and you write a book. And I didn’t want to be one of those guys, but a lot of people thought that it was the right time — and it did turn out to be that. I think people were looking for something positive to read, and we had a lot of negative in the sports world. I think it just came out at the right time. Maybe the Lord’s timing was good.”
Dungy said he’d actually gotten “more satisfaction” from the success of Quiet Strength than the Super Bowl win. That’s because, he said, “I’ve gotten so many calls and letters from people saying they really got something out of it, something that helped them.” On January 10, 2008, Quiet Strength reached 1,000,000 copies in print. Quiet Strength was on the New York Times Best Seller List for 32 weeks, including 27 in the top 10 for hardcover nonfiction.
Dungy also published a 96-page paperback called Quiet Strength: Men’s Bible Study on July 18, 2007. Dungy challenged men to answer six questions: What’s my game plan? What’s my strength? What’s success? Where’s my security? What’s my significance? And, what’s my legacy? The book is aimed specifically at men, including those who may not otherwise be interested in spiritual matters.
When asked if Dungy would consider writing a follow-up to Quiet Strength, Dungy said,
- “Three months ago, I would’ve said ‘no’ for sure. But the impact of this one has been beyond what I could’ve dreamed and there may be another one in the future. The focus would probably be on how to develop leadership and a coaching strategy for whatever business you’re in; coaching for your family, business, or sport based on Christian principles.”
Dungy published a 24-page children’s picture book called You Can Do It with Little Simon Inspirations, a division of Simon & Schuster on July 8, 2008, reached No. 1 on the children’s picture books section of the New York Times Best Seller list on July 27, 2008 and stayed on the top 10 for 5 weeks. The book tells the story of Dungy’s younger brother Linden who struggles, then figures out his life dream and is encouraged by his family to follow that dream as a dentist. Dungy said that his other hopes for You Can Do It were that it would encourage parents to read to their kids and that kids would learn the lesson of pursuing whatever field they were gifted in, even if it might be not the popular thing to do.
Dungy will write another book called Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance, which will be released on February 17, 2009 with Tyndale House Publishers. The new book reveals lessons on achieving significance that Dungy has learned. The book particularly focuses on what it means to be a man of significance in a culture that is offering young men few positive role models. Dungy said,
- Our young men today are falling into a trap… Society is telling them material success is what’s important, but if we buy into that idea, we can spend a lifetime chasing that success and never really have the positive impact on people that would make our lives truly significant.
Order your copy of Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance
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