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Minnesota Football: An open letter to Coach Tony Dungy

Dear Coach Dungy:

I first want to congratulate you on your esteemed career in the game of football. Your success on the field at the University of Minnesota, in the NFL, and then on the sidelines is nothing short of impressive.

The football fans in the state of MInnesota love to point out that Tony Dungy is "one of us." The fact that you played your college football for the Gophers and then spent 4 years leading one of the best defenses in Vikings history ranks you as one of the greatest individuals in Minnesota football history, just behind (with all due respect) Mr. Bud Grant.

Because of your esteemed career in football and your time spent here in Minnesota, I am coming to you with a plea.

As you know, Coach Dungy, our Golden Gopher Football program is in disarray. We haven't been truly relevant on a national level since before your days running around Memorial Field on the U of M campus. We were brought out of the basement of the Big Ten by Coach Mason in the early to mid-2000's, and despite asking Coach Mason to move on so we could bring in a coach who we hoped would bring us to the next level of winning, we have been the laughing stock of the Big Ten two of the last four years.

As die-hard Gopher Football fans, Coach Dungy, quite simply, we want more, and we see no reason that Minnesota can't compete on the football field, year in and year out, with our neighbors to the south and east. But our record against Big Ten competition is abysmal.

Coach Dungy, I am not writing this to beg you to be our next Head Coach at the University of Minnesota, and I am not even writing this to beg you to become our next Athletic Director. You have made it clear that you are enjoying being in the analyst's chair and not on the sidelines at this point in your life, and quite frankly, you absolutely deserve it.

What I AM begging you to do, however, Coach Dungy, is to help out your alma mater by offering your knowledge and expertise in hiring our next football coach. Coach Dungy, please call University President Robert Bruinicks and Athletic Director Joel Maturi and insert yourself as a consultant in the football coach hiring process for the Golden Gophers.

Coach Dungy, you have lead some very successful teams in the NFL, and you understand the game better than most. And, perhaps more importantly, you are a man of character who seems to understand the importance of character and talent in those around you, and also the importance of nurturing and mentoring character and talent. While we realize you will not be our next head football coach, we would be forever grateful if you were to bring your experience of football and character to our coaching search. Having you involved in this process would be a great comfort for Gopher fans.

Thank you for everything that you have done for the game of football, the men who play it, and those who are affected by it. Thank you for what you have brought to the game of football here in the State of Minnesota at various levels. As Gopher fans we hope that you will consider our request to be a part of the selection process of our next football coach.


Gopher Football Fans