Depending on your age you may recognize Tony Dungy from his years playing as a defensive back and quarterback. Or you may remember when he was head coach of the Indianapolis Colts or Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Or you may recognize him from his NFL football commentary on NBC Sports today. Whatever way you know Dungy, it’s actually his role outside of NFL Football where he is making the most impact and inspiring and training others to do the same.
You see, Dungy and his wife Lauren, have three biological children, seven adopted children, and a foster child. To say life off the field is busy is an understatement. Yet, Dungy intentionally makes time for what’s important to him, motivated by his faith in Christ. He’s now using his international platform to challenge others to be the men their families need especially in these perilous times. Through his organization, All Pro Dad, Dungy is mobilizing men to step up and step out, intentionally building relationships with their sons and daughters and filling the void in a generation where more kids are growing up with single or divorced parents.
Recent stats on fatherlessness suggest, 85% of youths in prison come from fatherless homes. 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. Nearly 25 million children live without their biological fathers. 60% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
With this kind of alarming statistics in mind, Dungy has a challenge for men everywhere and a challenge:
“Consider this my halftime speech for men: I want to challenge you to dig deep and find a way to be a dad in the life of one more child around you,” Dungy wrote for Fox News.
He views his role now as an opportunity to inspire other men to be the best fathers they can be and challenge men to take their place.
“Challenging men to become the dad we know they can be and be a dad to one more child. We believe all men have the talents and strengths to serve as a father to the kids who need a dad, whether they have their own children or not. You can start small, but the impact can be huge.”
The need is great for fathers to rise up. People like Dungy are leading the way as he puts Christ first in everything.
“Being a dad can be as simple as spending an hour a week with one more child, listening, teaching, and actively participating in things they enjoy,” explained Dungy.
Through All Pro Dad, Dungy is inspiring men to give 1 minute a day through their daily encouragement, 1 hour a month joining other dads in a local school chapter program building relationships, and 1 day a year at their annual event, bonding with your kids at an interactive experience in an NFL or NCAA stadium.
But all of this would be for naught if Dungy wasn’t pointing people to a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s something he did on the field as a player and coach, and now as a commentator, father, and mentor, Dungy makes sure to put God first.
Dungy shared on an I am second video, “Every decision I make in life I am going to make through the lens of Jesus Christ. I am going to put him out there first and my own thoughts, feelings, and desires will be second, it’s that simple. If we do that Christ promised he would come into our life, be our head coach and guide us to the ultimate victory.”