Colts' Dungy steps down

Ex-Wake Forest coach takes over

The Associated PressJanuary 13, 2009 

Tony Dungy has retired after seven years as coach of the Indianapolis Colts, saying this was right moment.

"These seven years have been better than I could ever have imagined," Dungy, the only black coach to win a Super Bowl, said at a news conference Monday. "I just have to thank everyone."

He will be replaced by associate coach Jim Caldwell.

Dungy, 53, has spent the past five years debating whether to leave football to spend more time with his family.

The move comes a little more than a week after the Colts were eliminated from the playoffs.

The plan to have Caldwell replace Dungy was put in place last year when the coach pondered retirement. Caldwell joined Dungy's Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff in 2001, then moved with Dungy to the Colts in 2002 and was the quarterbacks coach. A year ago, Caldwell was elevated to associate head coach though he continued to coach Peyton Manning and Jim Sorgi.

Caldwell's only other head coaching experience came at Wake Forest, where he went 26-63 from 1993 to 2000.

Dungy reached the playoffs all seven seasons in Indianapolis, winning five division titles and appearing in two AFC title games.

Dungy finishes his career as the Colts' franchise leader in victories, going 85-27 in the regular season and 7-6 in the playoffs.

Dungy, 53, also spent six seasons in Tampa Bay, rejuvenating a moribund franchise and turning it into a perennial Super Bowl contender in the late 1990s and the early part of this decade. Dungy left Tampa with a career record of 54-42 in the regular season, becoming the winningest coach in franchise history there, too, and got the Buccaneers to the NFC title game in 1999.

He's the only coach in NFL history to produce six straight 12-win seasons and 10 consecutive playoff appearances.

BRONCOS PICK OFFENSIVE GURU: The man who ran the New England Patriots' high-scoring offense is taking over as coach of the Denver Broncos, charged with revitalizing a team that failed to make the playoffs the past three seasons.

Josh McDaniels, the Patriots' 32-year-old offensive coordinator, agreed to a four-year deal to replace Mike Shanahan, who was fired Dec. 30 after 14 seasons with a 146-91 record.

"I'd like to personally thank [Patriots coach] Bill Belichick for providing me my foundation in this league and for mentoring me for eight years," McDaniels said at his introductory news conference Monday night.

McDaniels is a baby-faced 32-year-old whiz kid who is younger than many of his players, but insists that won't be a problem.

"My age has never been a factor. It's never going to be a factor," he said. "It's about performance. It's about what you're capable of getting the players to do."

JACKSONVILLE SHAKEUP: The Jacksonville Jaguars promoted Gene Smith to general manager Monday, one of four changes meant to clarify responsibilities in the personnel department.

Team owner Wayne Weaver said Smith will have final say in all personnel decisions, a clear deviation from the way the Jaguars handled things in recent years. Coach Jack Del Rio, former personnel chief James "Shack" Harris and Smith used a consensus approach the past six seasons.

CARDINALS LOSE TIGHT END: Arizona Cardinals starting tight end Stephen Spach is out for the playoffs after tearing a knee ligament during Saturday night's 33-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

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