63-49 (2-4 in the post-season)
The sixth head coach of the Buccaneers was nowhere near the high profile appointment Sam Wyche had been. After being turned down again by Bill Parcells and also
by local favourite Steve Spurrier, the Glazers approached former Pittsburgh and Minnesota defensive co-ordinator Tony Dungy. Long regarded as a potential head
coach, Dungy had been in the running for several NFL positions before getting his chance with the Bucs.
Combined with a proper front office for the first time really in franchise history, Dungy was able to concentrate on his speciality, the defense, and built a unit feared
around the NFL. After a 0-5 and 1-8 start to his first season, things began to turn around at the end of 1996, and the following season, took the Bucs into the playoffs
for the first time in 15 years.
A trip to NFC Championship Game followed in 1999 but rumblings about the lack of offense in Tampa began to sound louder and louder. Dungy followed front office
instructions and canned offensive co-ordinator Mike Shula during the Pro Bowl in January 2000, but neither of his replacements, first Les Steckel and later, Clyde
Christensen, could improve the offense from its almost-last place in the NFL standings.
Eventually the Buc stopped with Tony Dungy, and after the second consecutive wild-card defeat on the road in Philadelphia, a game in which the offensive
shortcomings were there for all to see, Dungy paid the ultimate price. He left Tampa with by far the best record in franchise history, and within a fortnight, had accepted
a head coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts leading to an eventual Super Bowl success. He also went on to become a respected NFL analyst and motivational
speaker across the country.
I have always felt the best way to sum up his coaching time in Tampa was that the Bucs would not have won the Super Bowl with Tony Dungy but they would have not
have won it without him. His induction into the Buccaneer Ring of Honor was a justifiable recognition for his work rebuilding the franchise.
Click here for a collection of pictures from his Buccaneer coaching career