Meeting Coach Tony Dungy

  1. #1
    by ChiefSmoke is offline Premium Member
    ChiefSmoke's Avatar
    On Wednesday, 3/9, I had a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. I got to meet Coach Tony Dungy. This is the way it happened.....

    I first experienced All Pro Dad Day at Mason County Intermediate School in the fall of 2014 with Trosper. All Pro Dad is Coach Tony Dungy's program which is part of the larger organization, Family First. When I became the Random Drug Test Coordinator at Mercer County Schools, I wanted to start All Pro Dad Day here. Matt Stanfield, the Principal at Mason County Intermediate, helped to point me in the right direction and we were able to start a chapter here at Mercer County this fall.

    My Dad was a huge fan of Coach Dungy. Coach Dungy is open about his faith in Jesus Christ. He is also a tremendous role model for coaches, husbands, & fathers. When I would be a knucklehead and struggling in all 3 roles, my Dad pushed me toward Coach Dungy's materials. My Dad & Steele Harmon got me copies of Uncommon & Quiet Strength, both written by Coach Dungy. The books did make a big difference for me and my family. They were so good that we used them as Bible Studies at Trinity United Methodist Church in Maysville. Coach Dungy's commitment to Christ and his family, in addition to being a great football coach, earned my Dad's respect and admiration. For me, my connection to Coach Dungy was my Dad. He was the one that pulled me in that direction and gave me those books that helped me be a better person, husband, father, & coach.

    When I became the head football coach at Mercer County, I made our helmet decal a sword. I told our kids that the sword was symbolic of the sword that David used to chop off Goliath's head. Coach Dungy had shared the story of David & Goliath prior to their victory over the Patriots in the AFC Championship game leading up to the Colts Super Bowl XLI Championship in 2007. Coach Dungy had told the Colts to be themselves, like David had been when he defeated Goliath. He also told them to have their swords ready, to be able to "FINISH". I told our guys that the sword was to remind them to "FINISH" a drill, a play, a practice, a game, and especially the 4th quarter. I was coaching back in my hometown, following in my Dad's footsteps, and Coach Dungy was impacting our program.

    My Dad passed away on Thursday evening October 1st, 2015. October 2nd was understandably a brutal day with all that went with saying good bye to my Dad. It was also a Friday, which meant that we had a ballgame to play that night, on the field my Dad had coached his teams 40 years earlier. I finally got home that Friday around 2 pm. I had a couple hours to rest before getting ready for our game. As I sat there, listening to the rain hit the roof, I felt overwhelmed by the loss of my Dad, what I was facing in taking care of my mom, returning to my hometown to be the head football coach of a football program that had fallen on hard times which had a current record of 1-5, and all that went with everything I was experiencing. Thoughts like ...."I can't do this."...."How will I do this?" filled my mind.

    As I sat there, absolutely in over my head & overwhelmed with grief, my cellphone began to ring and it said "Tampa, FL". I answered the phone. It was a young lady named Kaleigh and she asked me how I was doing. I told her not very well and why. With incredible grace, she expressed her sorrow & sympathy. Then, in the best way she could, she informed me that I had won the All Pro Dad Day Back to School Contest. I told her I didn't know there was a contest. She said I had won, and that I had a choice of prizes. One choice was they would fly me to Tampa to meet Coach Dungy. I told her, "You can stop there. That is the prize I want."

    When I got off the phone and told my family, it was a mixture of tears, joy & disbelief. It was a moment that had my Dad written all over it. It seemed like my Dad had only been in Heaven a few hours but had begun pulling strings for me. I definitely got the message that God loved me, that He was in charge, and that He could do anything he wanted, whenever He wanted to do it.

    As I made the trip to Tampa, while there, and the return trip, I thought about my Dad. I wished that he could be with me. It felt like he was with me.

    When I arrived in the office on Wednesday morning, before meeting Coach Dungy, I got to hug Kaleigh and Candice, who had set up the meeting for me. Another young lady told me that she was sitting next to Kaleigh while we talked on the phone, October 2nd. I felt like I was meeting family members for the first time.

    When I got to meet Coach Dungy, Pat encouraged me to tell him the story about the phone call on the 2nd. Coach Dungy looked at Pat and asked. "How did he get picked?" Pat told him that it was 100% random. I had shared with Coach Dungy about our helmet decal, his sword. Coach Dungy concluded, "this was a God thing."

    Coach Dungy then shared with me that his Dad was alot like mine. He shared stories that I could relate to as a father, husband, son, coach, and most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ.

    My meeting with Coach Dungy was brief. But, it was powerful. I really can't put into words what it was like or the impact it made on me.

    The way that the staff at Family First treated me also got my attention. Their kindness was genuine and sincere. Those wonderful people made a big impression on me in a very short period of time.

    There is no one I admire & respect more than Coach Dungy. If you had asked me "Who would you most like to meet?", the answer would have been "Coach Tony Dungy."

    As I began the flight back that sunny morning, I was overwhelmed with joy. I thought alot about my Dad, Stephanie, my children, my family, my players, the coaches and experiences that God has used in my life to draw me closer to him.

    God is good. He is faithful. He is trustworthy. He is bigger than anything we will ever face. He is the source of every good thing.

    I am thankful that at a time I was at the end of my rope, God chose such a wonderful way to communicate His love. I don't know what the future holds, but I know the same God that allowed me to meet Coach Dungy will be there for every step of the way.

    BlackShoes&WhiteShoeStrings: Meeting Coach Tony Dungy
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefSmoke View Post
    On Wednesday, 3/9, I had a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. I got to meet Coach Tony Dungy. This is the way it happened.....

    I first experienced All Pro Dad Day at Mason County Intermediate School in the fall of 2014 with Trosper. All Pro Dad is Coach Tony Dungy's program which is part of the larger organization, Family First. When I became the Random Drug Test Coordinator at Mercer County Schools, I wanted to start All Pro Dad Day here. Matt Stanfield, the Principal at Mason County Intermediate, helped to point me in the right direction and we were able to start a chapter here at Mercer County this fall.

    My Dad was a huge fan of Coach Dungy. Coach Dungy is open about his faith in Jesus Christ. He is also a tremendous role model for coaches, husbands, & fathers. When I would be a knucklehead and struggling in all 3 roles, my Dad pushed me toward Coach Dungy's materials. My Dad & Steele Harmon got me copies of Uncommon & Quiet Strength, both written by Coach Dungy. The books did make a big difference for me and my family. They were so good that we used them as Bible Studies at Trinity United Methodist Church in Maysville. Coach Dungy's commitment to Christ and his family, in addition to being a great football coach, earned my Dad's respect and admiration. For me, my connection to Coach Dungy was my Dad. He was the one that pulled me in that direction and gave me those books that helped me be a better person, husband, father, & coach.

    When I became the head football coach at Mercer County, I made our helmet decal a sword. I told our kids that the sword was symbolic of the sword that David used to chop off Goliath's head. Coach Dungy had shared the story of David & Goliath prior to their victory over the Patriots in the AFC Championship game leading up to the Colts Super Bowl XLI Championship in 2007. Coach Dungy had told the Colts to be themselves, like David had been when he defeated Goliath. He also told them to have their swords ready, to be able to "FINISH". I told our guys that the sword was to remind them to "FINISH" a drill, a play, a practice, a game, and especially the 4th quarter. I was coaching back in my hometown, following in my Dad's footsteps, and Coach Dungy was impacting our program.



    My Dad passed away on Thursday evening October 1st, 2015. October 2nd was understandably a brutal day with all that went with saying good bye to my Dad. It was also a Friday, which meant that we had a ballgame to play that night, on the field my Dad had coached his teams 40 years earlier. I finally got home that Friday around 2 pm. I had a couple hours to rest before getting ready for our game. As I sat there, listening to the rain hit the roof, I felt overwhelmed by the loss of my Dad, what I was facing in taking care of my mom, returning to my hometown to be the head football coach of a football program that had fallen on hard times which had a current record of 1-5, and all that went with everything I was experiencing. Thoughts like ...."I can't do this."...."How will I do this?" filled my mind.

    As I sat there, absolutely in over my head & overwhelmed with grief, my cellphone began to ring and it said "Tampa, FL". I answered the phone. It was a young lady named Kaleigh and she asked me how I was doing. I told her not very well and why. With incredible grace, she expressed her sorrow & sympathy. Then, in the best way she could, she informed me that I had won the All Pro Dad Day Back to School Contest. I told her I didn't know there was a contest. She said I had won, and that I had a choice of prizes. One choice was they would fly me to Tampa to meet Coach Dungy. I told her, "You can stop there. That is the prize I want."

    When I got off the phone and told my family, it was a mixture of tears, joy & disbelief. It was a moment that had my Dad written all over it. It seemed like my Dad had only been in Heaven a few hours but had begun pulling strings for me. I definitely got the message that God loved me, that He was in charge, and that He could do anything he wanted, whenever He wanted to do it.

    As I made the trip to Tampa, while there, and the return trip, I thought about my Dad. I wished that he could be with me. It felt like he was with me.

    When I arrived in the office on Wednesday morning, before meeting Coach Dungy, I got to hug Kaleigh and Candice, who had set up the meeting for me. Another young lady told me that she was sitting next to Kaleigh while we talked on the phone, October 2nd. I felt like I was meeting family members for the first time.

    When I got to meet Coach Dungy, Pat encouraged me to tell him the story about the phone call on the 2nd. Coach Dungy looked at Pat and asked. "How did he get picked?" Pat told him that it was 100% random. I had shared with Coach Dungy about our helmet decal, his sword. Coach Dungy concluded, "this was a God thing."

    Coach Dungy then shared with me that his Dad was alot like mine. He shared stories that I could relate to as a father, husband, son, coach, and most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ.

    My meeting with Coach Dungy was brief. But, it was powerful. I really can't put into words what it was like or the impact it made on me.

    The way that the staff at Family First treated me also got my attention. Their kindness was genuine and sincere. Those wonderful people made a big impression on me in a very short period of time.

    There is no one I admire & respect more than Coach Dungy. If you had asked me "Who would you most like to meet?", the answer would have been "Coach Tony Dungy."

    As I began the flight back that sunny morning, I was overwhelmed with joy. I thought alot about my Dad, Stephanie, my children, my family, my players, the coaches and experiences that God has used in my life to draw me closer to him.

    God is good. He is faithful. He is trustworthy. He is bigger than anything we will ever face. He is the source of every good thing.

    I am thankful that at a time I was at the end of my rope, God chose such a wonderful way to communicate His love. I don't know what the future holds, but I know the same God that allowed me to meet Coach Dungy will be there for every step of the way.

    BlackShoes&WhiteShoeStrings: Meeting Coach Tony Dungy
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  3. #3

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    I have met him twice. Very great speaker and guy.

  4. #4

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    Great story Coach. Thanks for sharing!

  5. #5
    OlDog75's Avatar
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    Inspiring! Thanks.

  6. #6

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    Good Story. He was a very good person and down to earth when I met him.

  7. #7
    theguru's Avatar
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    That is an incredible story Coach, thanks so much for sharing.

  8. #8
    OLinePride's Avatar
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    Coach B, I never met your father, but from all accounts he was a great man. Much like him, you are a great man as well. This opportunity you got to meet Coach Dungy was definitely Heaven sent. There's definitely a common thread with your father, Coach Dungy and yourself...Christ is priority number 1! Keep it up Coach. I'm looking forward to whenever our paths will cross again.

  9. #9
    Voice of Reason's Avatar
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    Amen.

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