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Dungy to Return For 2008 Season

                    Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy 

As expected (at least I expected), Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy will remain as head coach for at least the 2008 season, according to Adam Schefter of NFL Network.  In a news conference which took place at 4:30 EST (televised on ESPN News) and included Dungy, team owner Jim Irsay, general manager Bill Polian and assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, Dungy told the audience at the news conference, “I wouldn’t shortchange my family.  I wouldn’t come back if my wife or my children were not for it.”

The Colts – specifically Polian –  also announced that Dungy would remain as head coach through at least the 2008 season then would hand over the reins to assistant coach Jim Caldwell when and if Dungy finally retires from the team.  The big factor in the decision was Dungy’s desire to balance football and family, especially after the family moved to Tampa earlier this month.  Irsay’s willingness to allow Dungy to spend more time in Florida was a big factor in Dungy remaining the Colts’ coach.

Prior to this decision being made, Dungy spent a week having discussions with family, close friends and colleagues while deciding whether to remain with the Colts for a seventh season.  After digesting everything, Dungy informed Irsay on Monday of his decision.  Dungy’s record as Colts head coach is 80-28, including a NFL championship (Super Bowl win); he has 136 career wins as head coach of the Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Personally, I am glad that Dungy will remain as head coach.  He provides the stability that’s necessary for this club and you can rest assured that the team is extremely happy that he is returning.  This is not a knock on Caldwell whatsoever; Caldwell is a major asset to the club and a reason the Colts are successful.  And when and if the time comes that Dungy is ready to step aside, then Caldwell will inherit a team that will be in place that will make him successful.

But even with Dungy returning, you have to be impressed with team owner Jim Irsay.  Very few owners would have made the accomodations that Irsay did in order to keep his head coach.  That speaks volumes about the type of man Irsay is. Most owners would’ve basically said, “See ya” if the incumbent head coach made those requests to management.  But Irsay is allowing Dungy to be able to balance his football and family lives, and he should be commended for that act.  Now that the Colts have their head coach, they can now get down to business as usual – in this case getting the team back to the Super Bowl.

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