The successful football coach who is also beloved by his players is a rarity in today's NFL. Which is what makes former Indianapolis Colts head coach and Super Bowl winner Tony Dungy so valuable.
Tony Dungy: The rare, winning NFL coach whose players don't want to tie to a blocking sled.
Dungy is almost universally beloved in a sport that requires most of its coaches be megalomaniacal task-masters in order to win. And according to Peter King, he was very nearly the next team president of the Seattle Seahawks.
King says that late last week Seahawks front office man Tod Leiweke had a choice: Offer Dungy the job and look for a coach, or give it to Pete Carroll and look for a front office. King said Leiweke was in the "horns of a dilemma." But if those were really his options, that doesn't look like much of an agonizing decision.Carroll may go on to have great success here in Seattle. But even still, if there had been even the tiniest chance to snap up Dungy Leiweke would have been a fool not to take it.
During his years on the sidelines, Dungy, like most good coaches in the NFL, successfully groomed a number of assistants who went on to become leaders elsewhere, including Lovie Smith of the Bears, Mike Tomlin of the Steelers and his eventual replacement with the Colts, Jim Caldwell. Since his retirement, Dungy has settled into the comfy analyst's chair offered most ex-coaches, but he's also retained his position as de facto father-figure to many in the league, most publicly as a mentor for former Falcons' quarterback Michael Vick.
And according to King, hiring Dungy would have also made that search for a head coach easy too, since he would have been part of a package deal that included Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. (The same guy who Seahawks-bashers inaccurately labeled as a token interviewee during the coaching search.)
In the end, Dungy reportedly pulled his name out of the running. So it wasn't Leiweke's call to make after all. But had it been, it would have been hard to turn down an oddity like Dungy: The nice guy who also wins.