Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker
Review by C. Douglas Baker
Tony Dungy is a rather unique and inspiring person. Tony Dungy has been in the National Football League as a coach for many years. As a head coach, he lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the brink of a championship before being let go. He finally got over the hump by winning Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears behind Peyton Manning and the feisty play of strong safety Bob Sanders.
This memoir is about how Coach Dungy applies his Christian faith to not only his coaching in professional football, but to his life off the field as well. His approach to coaching football is certainly unique. He is no Bill Parcells, who often demeans his players, sometimes in public, to motivate them. He is also not the stereotypical coach who screams, yells, and cusses at his players when they make mistakes or in an attempt to fire them up or get the best out them. His style, by all accounts, is a quiet, understated approach that has certainly worked well for him.
Dungy rebuilt the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from a lousy team to a championship-caliber team, but could never quite get the wins in the playoffs to reach the Super Bowl. He was, most would say, unfairly fired by the Buccaneers as they seemed to feel he was not going to get them past the playoffs and to the Super Bowl. One year after he was let go by Tampa Bay, the team won Super Bowl XXXVII over the Oakland Raiders with Jon Gruden as head coach.
After being hired as head coach by the Indianapolis Colts, Dungy quietly built up the defensive side of the ball. The defensive unit had often let the team down and was clearly a weak link. While the Colts defense never became quite as good as his Buccaneers teams, it was just good enough to get a Super Bowl win.
Beyond talking about applying his faith to his role as head coach, Dungy talks about the importance of his family and his community and how he has striven to give all he can to each. And through this memoir, the reader learns a lot about Dungy’s career in the NFL and his teams, so there is plenty of football talk in the book to please fans of the game. He also talks about how his faith helped him cope with the inexplicable suicide of his teenage son.
Overall, this is an excellent book if you are a fan of football or you just want to hear the story of a devoutly religious man and how he applies his faith to everyday life.