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The Tony Dungy file

Dungy era ends
The Dungy Era in Photos

Gary Shelton: At end, Dungy became a victim of his own strengths
What they’re saying about Tony Dungy

Fans react to firing in Bucs forum
Loyal, tough and above all, a winner
Women’s team starts the bidding
By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 15, 2002

BORN: Oct. 6, 1955 in Jackson, Mich.

SPOUSE: Lauren.

CHILDREN: Tiara, James, Eric, Jordan.

HIGH SCHOOL: Parkside High School.

COLLEGE: Minnesota.

* * *


1980 -- Defensive backs coach at University of Minnesota.

1981 -- Steelers defensive assistant.

1982-1983 -- Steelers defensive backs coach.

1984-1988 -- Defensive coordinator for Pittsburgh.

1989-1991 -- Chiefs defensive backs coach.

1992-1995 -- Vikings defensive coordinator.

1996-2002 -- Head coach of Bucs.



1996 TB 6-10 4th, NFC Central

1997 TB 10-6 2nd, NFC Central

1998 TB 8-8 3rd, NFC Central

1999 TB 11-5 1st, NFC Central

2000 TB 10-6 2nd, NFC Central

2001 TB 9-7 3rd, NFC Central


1997 TB 1-1 Beat Detroit 20-10, lost to Green Bay 21-7

1999 TB 1-1 Beat Washington 14-13, lost to St. Louis 11-6

2000 TB 0-1 Lost 21-3 to Philadelphia in wild-card game

2001 TB 0-1 Lost 31-9 to Philadelphia in wild-card game



Regular Season 54 42 0 .563

Postseason 2 4 0 .333

TOTAL 56 46 0 .555



1976-84 John McKay 45-91-1 .329

1985-86 Leeman Bennett 4-28-0 .125

1987-90 Ray Perkins 19-41-0 .317

1990-91 Richard Williamson 4-15-0 .211

1992-95 Sam Wyche 23-41-0 .359

1996-01 Tony Dungy 54-42-0 .563 (before playoffs)


1996 -- Hardy Nickerson.

1997 -- Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks, Trent Dilfer, Warrick Dunn, John Lynch, Tony Mayberry, Hardy Nickerson, Warren Sapp.

1998 -- Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks, Tony Mayberry, Hardy Nickerson, Warren Sapp.

1999 -- Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Tony Mayberry, Hardy Nickerson, Warren Sapp.

2000 -- Donnie Abraham, Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks, Jeff Christy, Warrick Dunn, Martin Gramatica, John Lynch, Randall McDaniel, Warren Sapp.

2001 -- Mike Alstott, Ronde Barber, Derrick Brooks, Keyshawn Johnson, John Lynch, Warren Sapp.



Mark Asanovich (1996-2002) Strength and conditioning

Wendell Avery (1999-2000) Offensive assistant

Joe Barry (2001-2002) Linebackers

Jim Caldwell (2001-2002) Quarterbacks

Clyde Christensen (1996-2002) Offensive coordinator

Les Ebert (1999-2002) Asst. strength and conditioning

Herman Edwards (1996-2000) Defensive backs

Chris Foerster (1996-2002) Offensive line

Monte Kiffin (1996-2002) Defensive coordinator

Aaron Komarek (1996-1999) Asst. strength and conditioning

Joe Marciano (1996-2002) Special teams

Rod Marinelli (1996-2002) Defensive line

Tony Nathan (1996-2002) Running backs

Kevin O'Dea (1996-2002) Offensive assistant

Ricky Porter (1996) Offensive assistant

Mike Shula (1996-1999) Offensive coordinator

Lovie Smith (1996-2000) Linebackers

Les Steckel (2000) Offensive coordinator

Ricky Thomas (1997-2002) Tight ends

Mike Tomlin (2001-2002) Defensive backs

Alan Williams (2001-2002) Defensive assistant

Charlie Williams (1996-2002) Wide receivers



Dec. 29, 1979 -- Bucs beat Eagles 24-17 in NFC divisional game

Jan. 6, 1979 -- Rams shut out Bucs 9-0 in NFC Championship

Jan. 2, 1982 -- Cowboys win 38-0 in divisional game

Jan. 9, 1983 -- Bucs lose 30-17 to Cowboys in first round


Dec. 28, 1997 -- Bucs beat Detroit 20-10 in NFC wild-card game

Jan. 4, 1998 -- Packers hand Bucs 21-7 loss in NFC divisional game

Jan. 15, 2000 -- Bucs beat Redskins 14-13 in NFC divisional game

Jan. 23, 2000 -- St. Louis beats Bucs 11-6 in NFC Championship

Dec. 31, 2000 -- Bucs lose 21-3 to Eagles in NFC wild-card game

Jan. 12, 2002 -- Bucs lose 31-9 to Eagles in NFC wild-card game


In 20 seasons before Tony...

Bucs had a .301 winning percentage (94-213-1).

Won 10 games in a season once.

Made one playoff appearance every 6.7 years.

Won two division titles.

Won five or more home games four times.

Won more than three road games just once

18 Pro Bowl selections.

Ranked in Top 10 in total defense three times.


In the six seasons with Tony...

Went 54-42 during the regular season.

Won 10 or more games three times.

Made it to the playoffs in four seasons.

Won one division title.

Won five or more home games all six seasons.

Won four or more road games in three consecutive seasons.

35 Pro Bowl selections.

Ranked in Top 10 in total defense five times.



1996 260 1,589 2,727 4,316 221

1997 249 1,934 2,442 4,376 299

1998 262 2,148 2,606 4,754 314

1999 245 1,776 2,478 4,254 270

2000 275 2,066 2,583 4,649 388*

2001 298 1,371 3,323 4,694 324 * Club record.



1996 296 1,889 2,925 4,814 293

1997 265 1,617 3,011 4,628 263

1998 244 1,583 2,762 4,345 295

1999 228 1,407 2,873 4,280 235

2000 283 1,648 3,152 4,800 269

2001 262 1,702 2,951 4,653 280



1996 TB 333,350 41,669

1997 TB 543,514 67,939

1998 TB 518,047 64,756

1999 TB 522,691 65,336

2000 TB 524,775 65,597

2001 TB 524,468 65,559



1. Dec. 7, 1997 Green Bay 6-17 73,523

2. Dec. 28, 1997 Detroit 20-10 73,361

3. Sept. 21, 1997 Miami 31-21 73,314

4. Oct. 12, 1997 Detroit 4-27 72,095

5. Oct. 8, 1989 Chicago 42-35 72,077



1996 5 3 0 .625 1996 1 7 0 .125

1997 5 3 0 .625 1997 5 3 0 .625

1998 6 2 0 .750 1998 2 6 0 .250

1999 7 1 0 .875 1999 4 4 0 .500

2000 6 2 0 .750 2000 4 4 0 .500

2001 5 3 0 .625 2001 4 4 0 .500



Jan. 22 -- Dungy named Bucs sixth head coach.

Feb. 22 -- Linebacker Hardy Nickerson agrees to a four-year deal worth $12.8-million.

Oct. 8 -- After starting the season 0-5, Dungy gets his first win -- 24-13 against the Vikings.


Feb. 13 -- Tackle Paul Gruber, the Bucs' designated franchise player, agrees to a three-year deal.

April 9 -- Bucs unveil new logo and colors.

Sept. 28 -- With a 19-18 win against Arizona, the Bucs start the season 5-0.

Dec. 7 -- An attendance record is set when 73,523 at Houlihan's Stadium watch the Packers beat the Bucs 17-6.

Dec. 12 -- An NFL-high seven Bucs are named to play in the Pro Bowl.

Dec. 21 -- A 31-15 win against the Bears gives the Bucs 10 wins and clinches a playoff spot.

Dec. 28 -- In the first home playoff game in 15 years, Tampa Bay beats the Lions 20-10 in the final game at Houlihan's Stadium.


March 11 -- The Bucs sign Dungy to a five-year, $6.5-million contract. His annual salary of $1.3-million makes him the ninth highest paid coach in the league.

March 18 -- Warren Sapp agrees to a six-year, $36.05-million contract, the biggest deal for any defensive player.

April 30 -- General manager Rich McKay gets a five-year contract extension, good through the 2002 season.

Sept. 20 -- The Bucs erase a 15-point deficit against Chicago and win their first game in Raymond James Stadium 27-15.

Dec. 7 -- The Bucs beat Green Bay 24-22 for their first victory on Monday Night Football since 1982.

Dec. 16 -- Four Bucs are selected to play in the Pro Bowl.


June 30 -- Defensive end Chidi Ahanotu, the Bucs' designated franchise player, signs a six-year deal.

Sept. 3 -- The Bucs finish the preseason 4-0 with a 16-13 win at Washington.

Nov. 28 -- With quarterback Trent Dilfer injured, rookie Shaun King comes on in relief and leads the Bucs to a 16-3 win.

Dec. 6 -- King makes his first start against the Vikings on Monday night and the Bucs win 24-17 before a then-record crowd of 65,741 at Raymond James Stadium.

Dec. 23 -- Six Bucs players, including four on defense, are selected to play in the Pro Bowl.

Dec. 26 -- The Bucs finish 7-1 at home with a 29-10 victory against Green Bay and clinch their fifth playoff appearance.


Jan. 2 -- A 20-6 victory at Chicago clinches Tampa Bay's first NFC Central title since 1981 and sets a club record with 11 wins.

Jan. 15 -- Trailing 13-0, the Bucs score 14 consecutive points to beat Washington in the NFC Division playoffs.

Jan. 23 -- In another poor offensive showing, Tampa Bay loses to St. Louis 11-6 in the NFC Championship.

Feb. 2 -- Mike Shula, who had served as the Bucs offensive coordinator since Dungy was hired in '96, is fired while the staff prepares for the Pro Bowl. The Bucs had finished 28th overall and 30th in passing offense during the '99 season.

Feb. 20 -- Former Titans offensive coordinator Les Steckel is hired in the same role for the Bucs, filling the vacancy left when Mike Shula was fired

March 1 -- Former Vikings player Randall McDaniel signs a three-year contract.

April 12 -- The Bucs trade two first-round picks in the 1999 draft to the Jets for Keyshawn Johnson. The wide receiver gets an eight-year contract worth as much as $56-million with incentives. It includes a $13-million signing bonus, the biggest in team history.

Sept. 11 -- The Bucs lock up safety John Lynch with a five-year, $24-million contract extension.

Nov. 26 -- Defensive tackle Warren Sapp breaks Lee Roy Selmon's record for sacks in a season (13.5).

Dec. 15 -- The Bucs set a team record and equal the Titans for tops in the NFL by getting eight players named to the Pro Bowl roster.

Dec. 18 -- Tampa Bay clinches its second consecutive playoff berth with a 38-35 win against St. Louis on Monday Night Football.

Dec. 31 -- Eagles 21, Bucs 3 in the NFC wild-card game.


Jan. 10 -- After one season, Bucs fire offensive coordinator Les Steckel. His offense set a team record for points and returned the Bucs to the playoffs, but its downfall was its struggles in the playoffs.

Jan. 26 -- Quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen gets promoted to offensive coordinator.

March 4 -- In need of a veteran quarterback with a proven arm, the Bucs sign free agent Brad Johnson to a five-year deal worth $28-million.

March 23 -- Defensive end Simeon Rice signs a five-year, $34-million contract that includes no signing bonus and a $1-million salary this season.

June 10 -- The first coach in franchise history, John McKay, dies of kidney failure at 77.

Nov. 26 -- A 24-17 win against the Rams on Monday is the first of three consecutive victories and five in six games that helps the Bucs make the playoffs.


Jan. 2 -- For the second consecutive year, the Bucs place the most players in the Pro Bowl (6).

Jan. 6 -- Bucs lose 17-13 to the Eagles in the final regular season game.

Jan. 12 -- In a rematch of the 2001 wild-card game, the Bucs lose to Philadelphia 31-9.

Jan. 14 -- Dungy is fired.



HIRED: Feb. 5, 1996.

FIRED: Feb. 2, 2000.

CRIME: Bucs ranked no higher than 22nd on offense while Shula was in charge.

WHAT DUNGY SAID: "I made a decision (to fire Shula). It might not be the right one, but it was my decision."


HIRED: Feb. 20, 2000.

FIRED: Jan. 10, 2001.

CRIME: Though the Bucs set team records with 388 points, 43 touchdowns and a 4.2-yard rushing average, Keyshawn Johnson's 874 receiving yards was the fewest since his rookie year with the Jets. Mike Alstott's 3.5-yard average was the worst of his career. And Warrick Dunn ran the ball eight times in the playoffs despite averaging 174 yards rushing in four wins after Alstott was sidelined with a knee injury.

WHAT DUNGY SAID: "Les Steckel did an outstanding job here. We moved the ball and scored, and that's what you want to do on offense.

"I just thought that the direction where we want to go and what we wanted to do just wasn't quite there. I thought we could make it a little bit better by making a change, and that's what we're going to do. I don't have anyone in mind right now. We're going to consider everyone."


HIRED: Jan. 26, 2001.

FIRED: Jan. 14, 2002.

CRIME: Bucs ranked 29th in rushing, 26th in total offense and 15th in scoring during the regular season.

WHAT CHRISTENSEN SAID (AFTER 12 GAMES): "It has to begin with me. That's my job. To get them coordinated. I have no problem with the criticism. The bottom line is the performance, and we should be better than we are.

"If I was giving myself a grade, I'd say about a C. Dead average. That's disappointing, because being average is not satisfactory."


DEC. 28, 1997: In Dungy's second season, the Bucs made it to the playoffs for the first time since 1982 and beat Detroit 20-10 in the NFC wild-card game before 73,361 at Houlihan's Stadium.

NOV. 7, 1999: The Bucs were 3-4 entering this game at New Orleans. Their 31-16 victory was the first of six consecutive and signaled the start of a run toward the NFC Championship Game.

DEC. 18, 2000: Warrick Dunn scores with 48 seconds left as the Bucs rallied for a 38-35 win against the Rams on Monday Night Football. Tampa Bay not only clinches its consecutive playoff berths for the first time in franchise history, but Dungy becomes the team's winningest coach with his 45th victory.

JAN. 2, 2000: The Bucs beat Chicago 20-6 at Soldier Field for their first NFC Central title since 1981.

JAN. 15, 2000: Trailing 13-0 against the Redskins in the second half, the Bucs rallied to beat Washington 14-13 in the NFC playoffs before 65,835 at Raymond James Stadium.


JAN. 23, 2000: A punchless offense and a controversial replay ruling on Bert Emanuel's apparent catch on the final drive doom the Bucs' run at the Super Bowl. The Rams beat the Bucs 11-6 to advance while Tampa Bay went back to a revolving door of offensive coordinators.

FEB. 22, 2000: The Bucs opt to not sign free agent Hardy Nickerson for financial reasons. Former defensive end Chidi Ahanotu later said losing Nickerson created a void of leadership in the locker room. "Hardy was the heart and soul of the defense," Ahanotu said. "He was the guy everyone in the locker room looked up to, everyone respected."

DEC. 24, 2000: Ryan Longwell's field goal in overtime gives Green Bay a 17-14 victory against the Bucs at Lambeau Field. Tampa Bay had scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game, but Martin Gramatica missed a 40-yard field goal attempt with nine seconds remaining that would've won the game. The loss cost the Bucs a first-round bye.

DEC. 31, 2000: Be it the residual effects of losing in Green Bay the week before or that darned 40-degree curse, the Bucs looked terrible in a 21-3 loss to Philadelphia in the NFC Wild Card Game at Veterans Stadium. The Eagles held Tampa Bay to 199 yards total offense.

SEPT. 30, 2001: After struggling to beat the Cowboys on Sept. 9, the first sign that all might not be well this season came in a 20-16 loss to the hapless Vikings on Sept. 30 at the Metrodome.


"There are more good guys per square inch in the Bucs locker room than in any locker room in the NFL, and Dungy is a big reason why." -- Sports Illustrated's Peter King

* * *

"He's as real a person as I've ever known. He sticks to his beliefs and convictions. There's nothing hypocritical about him. We have so much respect for him as a coach and as a man." -- safety John Lynch

* * *

"The No. 1 thing was patience. We stayed the course. Tony brought sobriety into the organization." -- Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, who was the Bucs' personnel director for 14 years.

* * *

'All Tony had done throughout his career was achieve at a high level. We didn't sell any tickets by hiring Tony. But we did two years later when we made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. And now we have 21,000 fans on our waiting list.' -- Bucs general manager Rich McKay

* * *

"Tony's like that old-school uncle you don't want to mess with, the one who spanks you when you do something wrong and your parents aren't looking. You don't want to let Tony down.

He understands that we're men. He gives us enough space to where we can be our own people.

At the same time, he's a no-nonsense guy. Tony lets you know where you stand." -- Bucs defensive end Marcus Jones

* * *

"Tony's one of the classiest people I've ever met. He's very organized, very smart. He turned a losing franchise into a winning franchise. This is a first-class place and it's because of Tony. -- Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson

* * *

"Dungy is trustworthy, reverent, kind and fits every other adjective from the Boy Scout manual. If there were a Nice Guy Hall of Fame, he'd be voted in on the first ballot. That said, there are many nice guys who no longer are waking up as head coaches." Brian Schmitz, Orlando Sentinel.

* * *

"There are few people in the National Football League -- owners, coaches, players, the league office -- who command the respect Dungy does. He is more than a players' coach. He is a people coach. He exudes class and charisma and intelligence. No wonder the people in this community consider him one of their own, along with his team." -- Thomas George, New York Times

* * *

"It was difficult to determine who this meant more to, the players or the fans who had waited so long. The crowd was largely dressed in red, but there was enough orange to remind you where this team had been. They leaned over the railing and they cheered every Buc within hearing distance -- Mike Alstott and Trent Dilfer and Tony Dungy. Especially Dungy. This is what it is like when the suffering stops." -- Gary Shelton, St. Petersburg Times, after Tampa Bay's first playoff victory under Dungy, over the Lions in 1997.

-- Compiled by Kevin Kelly with information from the Buccaneers media guide and other news organizations. Times researcher Kitty Bennett also contributed.

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