Super Bowl-winning coach Dungy poised to become best-selling author

Updated: August 2, 2007, 1:25 AM ET
Associated Press

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Already best on the field, Tony Dungy is now tops in the bookstore.

Six months after becoming the first black coach to win a Super Bowl, he's about to grab the No. 1 spot on The New York Times' bestseller list.

Tony Dungy
Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesTony Dungy was on a whirlwind tour this summer. He was at the ESPYs, on "The Late Show" with David Letterman and stopped by "The Tonight Show" as well to promote his best-selling book.

His memoir, "Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life," on Sunday will claim the top spot for nonfiction hardcover, his publishing company said in a statement Wednesday. Tyndale House Publishers said it is the first NFL-related book ever ranked No. 1.

After finishing morning practice Wednesday, the Indianapolis Colts coach said he was aware of the book's ranking and surprised by the sales.

"It's really hard for me to believe," Dungy said. "It's gone way above and beyond what I expected, and I think part of it may be that people are tired of reading about negative stuff. I guess it's the right time."

Tyndale has ordered a fifth printing of "Quiet Strength," and by the end of this week, more than 315,000 copies will be in print, the publisher said.

The book takes readers from Dungy's childhood through some of his life-changing moments as an adult. One chapter is devoted to the death of his son, James, who committed suicide in December 2005 at age 18.

Fewer than 25 sports-related books have earned top billing on the bestsellers list that began in 1942, Tyndale said. Among them are Jose Canseco's "Juiced," Pete Rose's "My Prison Without Bars," Lance Armstrong's "It's Not About the Bike," and Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit."

But none of them had NFL connections, according to Tyndale House, a Christian book publisher from Cold Stream, Ill. It is also the first No. 1 book for Tyndale in hardcover nonfiction since 2002 when Lisa Beamer's "Let's Roll" made it, the company said.

Dungy said he's heard only one real concern from the publisher.

"They wanted to know where to put it," Dungy said. "They weren't sure if it should go in the African-American section, the religion section or the sports section."

For Dungy, the stoic coach of the Super Bowl champions, it's yet another milestone in a year filled with them. In January, his Colts won their first AFC championship since moving to Indianapolis in 1984. Two weeks later, Dungy became the first black coach to win the Super Bowl.

There was the team trip to the White House, appearances on television shows, and in July, Dungy won an ESPY for best coach or manager.

Between the ESPYs and the start of training camp Sunday in Terre Haute, Dungy traveled the country on a promotional tour that included stops at the "Late Show" with David Letterman and the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

Dungy said he intends to donate most of the proceeds of the book to charities but wouldn't identify them.

But don't expect a sequel.

"Certainly not," Dungy said. "This was certainly a one time thing, and it just seemed to be the right time. It's done well."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press