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Tony Dungy speaks at Legislative Prayer Breakfast

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

A standing-room-only crowd came out early Wednesday to hear retired NFL coach Tony Dungy speak at this year’s Legislative Prayer Breakfast held in the Capitol.

Dungy, an evangelical Christian, was a longtime player and head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts. It was with the Colts that he became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl, against the Chicago Bears in 2007.

The 60-year-old Dungy’s remarks stressed his concern over what he sees as the breakdown of the family; Dungy and his wife have 10 children.

The family “was designed by God to pass down the moral code,” he said, explaining that too many parents are falling down on their responsibility to teach their children right from wrong.

He used an example from the Bible of a generation of Israelites forgetting what God had done for them, and so He fought against them when they turned away from Him.

“People think, ‘it couldn’t happen to us,'” Dungy said. “I hate to tell you, but it could.”

Dungy, who’s now a television sports analyst, squeezed in some lighter moments.

“People tell me all the time now that I’m retired I ought to get into politics,” he said, getting a laugh from the crowd.

He added that he has no interest in running for office, but praised those who do.

As he looked out over a room filled with lawmakers, he said, “We have the best country in the world, and you help keep it that way.”

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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