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Jim Caldwell, who on Tuesday became the Colts' head coach, said this week he was influenced at every stage of a 32-year coaching career. This week, some of those who did the influencing spoke of Caldwell.


Those Who Influenced Him Speak of New Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell
INDIANAPOLIS – During his introductory press conference Tuesday, new Colts head coach Jim Caldwell spoke extensively of those who had influenced him.

He spoke of Joe Paterno, for whom he worked at Penn State.

And he spoke of Rey Dempsey, for whom he worked at Southern Illinois and from whom he said he learned much in his early days of coaching.

Caldwell, who on Tuesday became the Colts' 17th head coach after a 32-year coaching career that included seven seasons as the Head Coach at Wake Forest University and seven more as an assistant with the Colts, said he was influenced at every stage.

This week, some of those who did the influencing spoke of him.

Quickly, a look at what some of Caldwell's pre-Colts influences are saying about him:

• Penn State University Head Coach Joe Paterno: "Jim Caldwell was one of the best assistant coaches I've ever had at Penn State. I thought he did a great job as the head coach at Wake Forest, and Jim will do a great job as head coach of the Colts."

• Wake Forest Athletic Director Ron Wellman: "Jim Caldwell will be a tremendous coach for the Colts. He relates well to literally everyone, is an excellent coach and an even better human being. He will continue to lead the Colts to annual contention for NFL championships."

• Former Southern Illinois Head Coach Rey Dempsey: "I am so happy and excited for Jim because he's a great coach and a great man. When I interviewed him from Iowa, I put him on the board to go over Xs and Os, and he's probably the sharpest man I ever put on the boards answering questions. He is so humble. He has humility, but is a tireless worker. He is a tremendous man and a tremendous family man."

• Former University of Colorado Head Coach Bill McCartney: "(Jim) Caldwell is the only guy I know who is qualified to fill Tony Dungy's shoes without breaking stride."

Caldwell, who worked with Dungy as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterbacks coach in 2001 and succeeded him as the Colts' head coach this week, became the Colts' quarterbacks coach from 2002-2004, and served as the Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks from 2005-2007. He served as the associate head coach this past season.

Caldwell coached under Dungy as quarterbacks coach in Tampa Bay in 2001. Before then, he was head coach at Wake Forest from 1993-2000. He coached the Demon Deacons to an Aloha Bowl appearance in 1999.

Caldwell, a four-year starter at defensive back at the University of Iowa from 1973-76, coached at Iowa for one season, in 1977, then had stints at Southern Illinois (1978-80), Northwestern (1981), Colorado (1982-84), Louisville (1985) and Penn State (1986-92).

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