Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy named analyst on NBC's Football Night in America
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy has joined his successor, former Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, in a high-profile TV analyst's gig -- joining the team on NBC's Football Night in America.
I know it's more about our deep insecurities as an urban center, but I'm still glad to see this sometimes Tampa resident and standout coach join the ranks of the pigskin commentators.
Gruden's surprising ability on TV won him a spot on Monday Night Football; Dungy's likely to bring some much-needed class, even-handedness and perception to what can sometimes be a tiresome display.
Times sports media writer Tom Jones sat in on NBC's conference call with Dungy, grabbing this quote for his Two Cents blog: "I really didn't go into this offeseason thinking about TV at all,'' Dungy said. "(NBC Sports honcho Dick Ebersol) asked if I would like to do the Super Bowl because it was in Tampa. He said to see how I liked it. It turned out to be a great experience and it was a lot of fun. Then we started kicking things around. I didn’t want to miss my son’s high school football game and some of the ministry things I do during the week. But, basically, this job is just Saturday and Sunday, so I talked to my wife and we thought we could make it work family-wise.''
WFLA-Ch. 8 also announced former Buc John Lynch will join their three preseason games in 2009: at Tennessee on Aug. 15, at Jacksonville on Aug. 22 and against Houston in the preseason finale on Sept. 4.
Here's NBC's release:
DUNGY & HARRISON NAMED AS ANALYSTS ON “NBC’s FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA”
NEW YORK – June 3, 2009 – Tony Dungy, the historic Super Bowl coach whose teams made the playoffs each of the last 10 seasons, unprecedented in this era, and Rodney Harrison, the three-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion, will join NBC's Emmy nominated studio show "Football Night in America" as analysts. The announcement was made today on a media conference call by Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Sports and Executive Producer, "NBC Sunday Night Football." Both Dungy and Harrison were part of NBC's Super Bowl XLIII pre-game coverage.
EBERSOL ON DUNGY: "Over the past few years I've enjoyed getting to know Tony through numerous production meetings and his work on our Super Bowl coverage, and have been impressed by the way he handled himself not only as a coach and communicator but more so as a human being. What I learned is that in addition to his obvious Super Bowl credentials, Tony is a gifted storyteller. That was confirmed by his outstanding work on our Super Bowl studio show.
"It's a remarkable feat that Tony's teams made the playoffs for 10 straight seasons, given that he was playing a first-place schedule most years and under a salary cap."
Dungy recently retired as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts after making the playoffs in each of his last 10 seasons (7 with Indianapolis; 3 with Tampa Bay). Dungy's crowning achievement came in Super Bowl XLI, when he became the first African-American coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory as the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears. A former NFL defensive back, Dungy is one of only three men to win Super Bowls as both a player and head coach joining Mike Ditka and Tom Flores. Dungy is the author of the best selling book "Quiet Strength," as well as a children's book. His third book "Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance," was recently released.
In Dungy's six seasons as head coach of the Bucs, his teams made the playoffs in four of those years, reaching the NFC Championship Game in 2000. In his 13 seasons, Dungy's teams posted a losing record just once, his first season in Tampa Bay.