I have respect for former Colt’s head coach Tony Dungy, but I have always had a suspicion he was overrated as a head coach. As a coordinator, he was great. His defenses were top notch, but as a head coach, the Colt’s defense was rarely good. The team was successful largely because of Peyton Manning and the Colt’s prolific offense. This is fairly common knowledge and opinion. Without Peyton Manning, many people believe Tony Dungy probably wouldn’t have won as much as he did. He may have even ended up the type of coach that is a great coordinator but not a great head coach. There are many coordiantor only coaches in the NFL, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Being an NFL head coach requires a certain personality type that not everyone is equipped for. And, there’s a certain element of luck to it in having great players and being in just the right organization.
That being said, Tony Dungy has fallen into the tendency to overracialize everyday life. Recently, he said:
“It hurt in 1993 to have coordinated the number one defense in the NFL and not get an interview for one of the five head coaching openings that year. It hurts even more to see African American coaches going through the same thing almost thirty years later.“
I don’t doubt that in 1993, Dungy probably did face some discrimination. 1993 obviously isn’t 1963, but there were still problems in our society. My issue comes with his last statement. “It hurts even more to see African American coaches going through the same thing almost thirty years later.“
It would be too easy to simply cite the statistics about the number of head coaches who are/have been black. The number of high profile coordinators making millions of dollars who are black. Black Americans make up a smaller percentage of the population as a whole, so by sheer numbers alone, one would not expect the number of black head coaches to be equal to the number of white head coaches. The statistics just don’t add up. If were to play the diversity quota game, about 15% of head coaches in the NFL would need to be black.
But why stop with black? There aren’t any Asian head coaches in the NFL. Maybe we should just use a quota to make sure the appropriate number of every race should be in the NFL.
Forget merit or achievement or even “fit” for a particular organization. Let’s get rid of everything except for race.
Overracializing society will lead to all sorts of skewed results. Truth dies, merit dies, and people are no longer able to rest in the confidence that they actually earned a position. If I were a minority, I would never want someone giving me a job because I was a minority. It would be insulting to me on a fundamental level, almost like someone was treating me like a child.
Dungy was 54-42 as head coach of Tampa Bay. His record in Indy was 85-27. The difference is Peyton Manning.
He of all people shouldn’t be pretending like he was some sort of coaching genius that was held down by racism. Most coaches who had Peyton Manning would’ve had a lot of wins, and some coaches may have even won more Super Bowls than he did. Without Peyton Manning, Dungy was a very average head coach.
Maybe he would have improved over time, and maybe he wouldn’t have. It’s hard to say, because in sports, speculating isn’t truth. But, based on his actual track record without a hall of fame quarterback, Dungy wasn’t an elite head coach.
The NFL is a tough business, and most people aren’t cut out for it, whether white, black, or anything else. The competition is fierce, and the hours are long. If you don’t measure up, you’re out. Injecting race unnecessarily distorts everything.