Dungy Says Christian Walk More Important Than Sports

Tuesday, March 8, 2005
Sam Woolwine, right, introduces Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy. Click to enlarge.
Sam Woolwine, right, introduces Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy. Click to enlarge.
- photo by John Wilson

Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy told an audience of more than 1,200 at the Convention Center on Tuesday night that his Christian walk is even more important than sports.

"That is really the main element in my life. Athletics is important, but without the Christian part it is kind of empty," the famed coach said.

He spoke at the annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet at the "Road To Victory" dinner.

At a press conference prior to the dinner, Coach Dungy said it was his first stop in Chattanooga, though he has driven through before.

He said he had heard much about the city from Chattanoogan R.V. Brown when they worked together in Tampa.

Coach Dungy spoke of his father, who died last June, and told of the endowment the family is trying to set up at the college where he worked in Jackson, Mich.

He said both his parents were teachers. Coach Dungy said all his siblings have "more important" jobs than his, though he said he gets more publicity. He has a sister who is a nurse, a brother who is a dentist and another brother who is a doctor.

Coach Dungy said in evaluating players he focuses on "the type of person they are." He said, "You can determine what some guys are like by looking into their eyes."

He spoke fondly of quarterback Peyton Manning, calling him "an ideal player who has been great to my three boys. He makes fantastic contributions to our community."

He said he remembered when the record was set for 48 touchdowns in a year and never thought that would be broken. "Then I looked up at the middle of the season and Peyton already had 30."

But he said Manning did not focus on the record, but on the team winning games.

Coach Dungy said the Colts are solid on offense and it would be hard for anyone to break into the lineup. He said if the defense can be bolstered, the Colts next season may be able to reach the top level that has just eluded them.

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