Dungy: Pressure to hire minorities should come from insidePosted: Tuesday March 25, 2003 3:01 PM
PHOENIX (AP) -- Tony Dungy says pressure from outside the NFL has helped focus attention on the need for more minorities in coaching and executive positions.
The head coach of the Indianapolis Colts emphasizes, however, that the impetus to hire minorities still has to come within the league.
"We shouldn't have to have people on the outside telling us 'this is what has to be done,"' Dungy, one of three black coaches in the NFL, said at Tuesday's AFC coaches' media breakfast. "We have to have some trust in the people doing the hiring."
But Dungy endorsed the move by lawyers Cyrus Mehri and Johnnie Cochran Jr., who pressured the NFL to promote more blacks into positions of responsibility.
Dungy, Herman Edwards of the New York Jets and the newly hired Marvin Lewis of Cincinnati are the black head coaches. The NFL also has four black general managers or personnel directors.
Dungy also endorses the directive from the diversity committee headed by Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney that requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for a head coaching vacancy.
But he warns that too many interviews can hurt an applicant's chances.
"When I went to Tampa Bay for an interview, I told them I had only had three previous interviews," he said. "They were surprised. The perception was that I'd had a lot and that I'd been rejected and that didn't help my chances."
Dungy got the Tampa job in 1996. After getting the Bucs to the playoffs in four of his six years there, he was fired after the 2001 season and was hired by Indianapolis two weeks later.
In a way, he says, that was a step forward for minority hiring.
"That happens all the time -- a fired coach getting a new job," he said. "Maybe when it happened to me, it was equal opportunity."
No double duty for Marty
Marty Schottenheimer has no desire to be head coach and general manager again.
He handled both roles in 2001 with Washington, then was fired by Daniel Snyder when he refused to relinquish the GM's job.
Now, after a year with San Diego, he said doing both jobs is too much.
"It also gets you into conflicts," Schottenheimer said. "You're coaching a player and telling him he's doing a good job. How do you then go to him and ask him to take a cut in pay to help the salary cap situation? You're better off having someone else do it."
Shanahan's worst season
Mike Shanahan says last season was the worst he's had in eight years as head coach of the Denver Broncos.
While the Broncos improved to 9-7 after going 8-8 in 2000, Shanahan said he was frustrated because "we had the material to do so much more."
Denver, in fact, was one of the preseason favorites in the AFC and started off 3-0. The Broncos were 6-2 at midseason, but then lost four of five, including consecutive overtime losses to Indianapolis and San Diego by three points each.
"It was the most frustrating season I've ever had," he said.
Was it more frustrating than 1996, when Denver clinched home field advantage in the AFC early, then lost two of three games before falling to Jacksonville, a second-year team at the time, in the playoffs?
"Last year was the most frustrating season," Shanahan said. "That Jacksonville game was the worst loss."