It seemed logical for a lot of reasons, when the NFL schedule came out last month, and now, it’s official.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will honor the architect of their sudden turnaround from 14 years of futility to the 1997 playoffs, when they put former coach and 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Tony Dungy, in their “Ring of Honor.”
It will happen on Monday Night September 24th, when the Bucs host the team that drafted Dungy and he later coached as an assistant for: the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The team broke the news in a statement Tuesday afternoon that included this statement from co-chairman, Bryan Glazer, “Tony Dungy’s impact on the Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay community is not measured in terms of wins and losses. Tony transformed our entire organization and established a winning culture that set the foundation for the most successful era in our franchise’s history. Through his exceptional leadership, Tony set a new benchmark for excellence on and off the field that we still strive to achieve to this day.”
The Buccaneers then released a brief highlight video commemorating the announcement:
Congratulations to @TonyDungy, who will be inducted into the Ring of Honor in 2018!
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) May 8, 2018
Dungy took over the reins as the Bucs coach in 1996, when they had already achieved a dubious modern NFL record with 13 consecutive losing seasons. They were 6-10 his first year, but with the help of now, Hall of Famers themselves, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, plus Mike Alstott, Hardy Nickerson, Paul Gruber, etc., the Bucs became a playoff team a year later.
And eventually, they went to the playoffs four total times in his six seasons, including the 1999 narrow NFC Championship Game loss to the eventual Superbowl Champion St. Louis Rams.
Dungy, was fired by the Glazers after not being successful enough (ironically) after the 2001 playoffs, where they lost for the second consecutive year to the Philadelphia Eagles.
He went to the Colts and QB Peyton Manning the following season and eventually, they won the Superbowl in 2006. After retiring from coaching in 2008, Dungy has been the lead analyst on NBC’s Football Night in America pregame and halftime coverage.
He will become the 12th inductee and join two former coaches John McKay and Jon Gruden, in the “Ring of Honor” this fall.
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