Dungy to Consider Coaching Future in the Coming Week
SAN DIEGO, Cal. – Tony Dungy said his approach won't change.
Dungy, whose seventh season as the Colts' head coach ended with a 23-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers in overtime Saturday night, has taken time after each of the past three seasons to contemplate his future.
On Saturday, he said his approach will be the same:
He will discuss whether to return or retire with his wife, Lauren.
Then, he will announce a decision.
And Dungy said – as has been the case each of the past three seasons – as of Saturday night's end of the season he does not yet know his decision.
"For me, it will be kind of like every year at this time," Dungy said moments after Chargers running back Darren Sproles' 22-yard overtime run around the left side of the line ended the Colts' season earlier than any time since 2002, his first season with the Colts.
"I'll try to get over the disappointment of this loss, talk things over with my wife, and see where we go from here."
Dungy, who has coached the Colts to the postseason in each of his seven seasons with the franchise, returned each of the last three seasons after contemplating retirement. His decision has been the subject of much speculation each off-season, and last off-season, the Colts promoted Jim Caldwell to Associate Head Coach.
Afterward, a reer asked Dungy if Saturday was his final game.
"I don't know," Dungy said. "I'll let you know in a week."
Dungy, 53, who is 85-27 as the Colts' coach – 92-33 including the postseason – has coached 10 consecutive teams to the postseason, an NFL record. Before joining the Colts, he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to three consecutive playoff appearances.
A 28-year veteran of NFL coaching, Dungy was the head coach of the Buccaneers from 1996-2001. He went 54-42 in Tampa Bay, 56-46 including the postseason.
Colts players said while they hope Dungy will return, the decision is his.
"I heard him just say he's going to take a week, so that's his deal," Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said.
"It would be tough," Colts seven-year defensive end Dwight Freeney said. "Tony's been here since I've been here. He means a lot to this franchise. Obviously, if he's not here with us, it's going to be tough, but we have to move on however. We'll try to take it one game at a time."