"I'm going to Disneyla...er...the University of Minnesota"
Posted at 10:13 AM on February 5, 2007 by Bill Wareham
The University of Minnesota wasted little time getting this news release out today:
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL ( 2/5/2007 ) -- University of Minnesota alum Tony Dungy, head coach of the Super Bowl XLI winning Indianapolis Colts, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Annual Celebration on Tuesday, May 8, the alumni association announced today.
Tickets for the annual celebration will go on sale at the Northrop Auditorium Box Office on Feb. 22. People can order tickets by calling (612) 624-2345 or online at www.northrop.umn.edu or by going to the Northrop Box Office in person.
Held in Mariucci Arena, 1901 Fourth St. S.E., Minneapolis, across from the site of the new Gopher football stadium, the evening includes a reception at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and program at 8 p.m. The program will also include remarks by special guest and alum Stan Freese, talent booking and casting director for the Walt Disney Company, as well as performances by members of the Minnesota Marching Band. Details are available at www.alumni.umn.edu/annualcelebration.
“Who among our alumni better epitomizes everything good about college athletics and has achieved greater football fame than Tony Dungy,” said Denny Schulstad, volunteer president of the alumni association. “Everyone, alums, students, faculty, staff and friends, is invited to attend this special evening and celebrate with us.”
Dungy, who received his bachelor of science degree in 1978, is head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. This year, he made history as the first black head coach to win the Super Bowl.
Dungy is one of the most respected and popular coaches in the National Football League. He has led teams to the playoffs for eight consecutive years, and during his tenure as Vikings defensive coordinator had one of the top-ranked defenses each year. In 2006-07, his Indianapolis Colts won the division and advanced through three rounds of playoffs to win the Super Bowl XLI in Miami on Feb. 4.
As a Gopher, Dungy quarterbacked the university to winning records his two years as a starter, including a tie for third in the Big Ten as a senior, a level Minnesota has reached only once since. Dungy, an academic all-Big Ten honoree, was Minnesota’s all-time career leader in passing yards, completions and touchdowns when he graduated. He also ran the ball 413 times for 1,345 yards and 16 touchdowns, earning the team’s Most Valuable Player Award twice. As a senior, he played in the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl and the Japan Bowl. He played parts of three years in the National Football League, winning a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers, before turning to coaching. Converted to a defensive back at Pittsburgh, Dungy holds an unusual distinction: When his team’s top two quarterbacks were hurt, he entered the game at quarterback. He completed three of eight passes for 43 yards in a game in which he both intercepted a pass and threw an interception.