Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, who earned his Super Bowl ring with the Colts and retired from the NFL, is still coaching … dads. They receive a "Play of the Day" in e-mail support from All Pro Dad, the nonprofit family organization he helped found in Tampa Bay in 1997.
On Saturday some 1,500 dads and their children are expected to attend an All Pro Dad mini training camp from 1 to 4 p.m. on the field of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, where practical fatherhood tips will be slipped between games and pep talks from star athletes.
Dungy, who works as an analyst for Sunday Night Football, has said he hopes to make it to the stadium before he hops a plane to the NBC studios. As part of the afternoon experience, participants will hear from former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and University of Florida All-American Jason Odom on the importance of fatherhood.
When Dungy helped create the All Pro Dad organization with Tampa radio host Mark Merrill, founder of the Christian organization Family First, he said he could see how the sport could be used to coach men into being better fathers.
"We launched the program right here in the Tampa Bay area, (asking) dads to bring their kids to a Buccaneers training camp practice," Dungy said in an e-mail to the Tampa Bay Times while on the road with his television duties. "We expected 100 dads, but 4,000 showed up. We knew we were on to something special.
"Using the draw of football to attract men," he said, "we gave fathers practical ways for them to become better fathers and become more engaged in their child's life.
"From the beginning, the mission of All Pro Dad has always been to guide and strengthen men through fatherhood. Holding onto this responsibility has encouraged me in my own life as a father of 10."
Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8595. Follow @SharonKWn.