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Tony Dungy Selected To Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Intro: On Saturday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame selected Tony Dungy to be a member of the Class of 2016. Dungy will be inducted into the Hall on Saturday, August 6 in Canton, Ohio.


INDIANAPOLIS – In 2007, he said it was "our time."

Now, in 2016, it's "his time."

Tony Dungy will be a member of the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class, in his third year of Hall eligibility.

Dungy was an NFL head coach for 13 seasons, with his team playing in the postseason 11 times.

Among coaches with at least five years in the NFL, Dungy averaged 10.7 wins per season, the best mark in NFL history.

In winning Super Bowl XLI, Dungy became the first African-American coach to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

A .688 winning percentage for Dungy is ninth in league history (minimum 100 games coached). Dungy has a higher winning percentage than Bill Belichick, Bill Cowher, and Bill Walsh.

"It was a tremendous honor in my life and some great people and I really have to look at the Lord just kind of guididng me there," Dungy said of his time in Indianapolis (2002-2008).

"I got fired in Tampa and you don't know what's going to happen and where you're going to go, if you're going to go anywhere. I have to thank my boss whose right there in the second row, Jim Irsay, gave me a call, left a message on my answering machine and he said, 'We want to build a team the right way in Indianapolis, we want to connect with our fans, we want to have a team that represents our city well.' He didn't talk about championships or any of that – he just talked about how he wanted to do it and he said, 'You're the man I want to lead this.' I got there and had that tremendous support from him, from Bill (Polian), and there were some tremendous players there. It was just the spirit of camaraderie, working together, and he set the tone and I just thank him for choosing me and wanting me to be part of it. It was a special, special seven years."

"He did it his way," longtime assistant Jim Caldwell says of Dungy. "He did it with dignity, he did it with class, he did it with integrity. Winning was extremely important and I think he did it as well as anyone. You look at his record, you look at the different franchises he turned around, you look at the different Pro Bowl players he was able to develop under his tutelage…

"He did win, then also to serve. I think that was equally as important to him. Oftentimes he would say winning is just not enough. You have to do some other things and some more significant things in terms of having an impact on people's lives in the community, within your household, within your team. I'm not sure there's another person in the Hall that when you think of them, you think of what he stands for as a person, as a man and not just simply in a small group of those he played with, and those that he coached. This is universal, global. He's an author. He's a commentator. He's done great things for the sport."

Dungy's influence around the NFL can be seen across the league.

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin calls Dungy a "trailblazer" for what he's done, and still does today.

"I can vividly describe what Coach Dungy's career has meant to mine," Tomlin says. "He's a walking, talking blueprint for me. He really provided great clarity for me in terms of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.

"His coaching record speaks for itself. But aside from that, the groundbreaking that he was able to accomplish as a coach and the class of dignity the way he did it, the way he represented the game, I think are all of Hall of Fame worthy."

Dungy joins Marvin Harrison in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the Class of 2016. Edgerrin James was a finalist in his second eligible year.

The rest of the 2016 class is as followed: owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., quarterback Brett Favre, linebacker Kevin Greene, offensive tackle Orlando Pace and quarterback Ken Stabler.

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