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Dungy to evaluate future after season ends

1/10/2008 - Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- Coach Tony Dungy doesn't want to talk about
retirement yet.

Dungy, who has considered leaving football each of the past two
years, acknowledged Thursday he would talk with his wife and
Indianapolis officials about the future when the Colts' season
ends.

Speculation about his potential departure was fueled by a report
Thursday in The Tampa Tribune that said his son, Eric, enrolled at
Plant High School in Florida. Eric Dungy, who turns 16 Saturday,
was a receiver-defensive back at Park Tudor High School in
Indianapolis the last two years but reportedly began attending
classes at Plant on Tuesday.

Tony Dungy would not confirm the report.

"I'm not going to say anything because it's not really worthy
of comment," he said. "I've heard and read a lot and some of it
is true, some of it is partially true and some of it isn't true at
all. I wouldn't read anything into any of the things you hear and
read."

The 52-year-old Dungy signed a three-year contract extension in
September 2005, a deal intended to keep him with the Colts through
2009.

But he has considered leaving football before.

He waited one week after the 2005 season to announce he would
return when some speculated he might retire to spend more time with
his family following the death of his 18-year-old son, James. Last
year after leading the Colts to their first Super Bowl title in
more than three decades, Dungy again briefly considered retirement.

And he's ready to follow the same decision-making process again
this season.

"I'll sit down with my wife and talk it through and then talk
to [owner] Jim [Irsay] and [president] Bill [Polian], like I do
every year," Dungy said. "And then we'll take a look at it."

Since winning the Super Bowl, Dungy has become more involved in
life away from football.

A longtime supporter of charitable groups such as Big
Brothers/Big Sisters and All-Pro Dads, Dungy wrote a best-selling
memoir, "Quiet Strength", which now has 1 million copies in
print. He also was appointed to the President's Council on Service
and Civic Participation.

Dungy has said in the past he never intended to be a "lifer"
in football and that he initially planned to retire by the time he
was 50. But when he announced his return as Colts coach in
February, Dungy said he still had the passion to keep coaching.

Colts players say they've seen no indication Dungy intended to
leave.

"He's not said anything and I certainly hope not," Pro Bowl
center Jeff Saturday said.

Dungy is 127-65 in 12 seasons as a head coach, finishing his
six-year career in Tampa Bay as the franchise's winningest coach.
He is the only Colts coach to get double-digit victory totals and
earn playoff berths in six straight seasons. He led the Buccaneers
to the NFC Championship Game in 1999 and has been to the AFC
Championship Game twice with the Colts, following the 2003 and 2006
seasons.

In 2007, the Colts became the first team in league history to
win at least 12 games in five consecutive years, and Indy has won
five straight AFC South titles. Dungy also has been an assistant
coach with Minnesota, Kansas City and Pittsburgh and spent three
seasons in the late '70s playing for the Steelers and San Francisco
49ers.

Indy's quest to repeat as Super Bowl champs begins Sunday when
the San Diego Chargers visit for a divisional-round game that could
mark the final time Indy plays in the RCA Dome. The new Lucas Oil
Stadium, a retractable-roof dome, opens next season.

Dungy's assistant head coach, Jim Caldwell, also has become a
regular on the interview circuit. He met with the Atlanta Falcons
and Baltimore Ravens about their openings last week and interviewed
with the Arizona Cardinals last year.

Earlier this week, Dungy endorsed Caldwell for those jobs,
saying he was ready to become a head coach.

"Anybody who talks to Jim is going to come away impressed,"
Dungy said Wednesday. "They will realize how thorough he is. If
they talk to any of our players, they're going to know what type of
communicator he is, so there's no question in my mind he made a
great impression."