Dungy looking for right balance between football, family in ’08

;INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Tony Dungy has spent half his life balancing coaching and family.

He’s about to give it a new look.

After taking a week to debate his future as the Indianapolis Colts’ coach, Dungy decided Monday he would return to the sideline for at least one more season, mixing his priorities as successful coach and devoted father and husband with some cross-country commutes.

“The thing my wife and I realize is that we’ve done this before,” said Dungy, who grew up in Jackson, Mich. “We’ve done it for two years, we’ve done it parts of years in other places, and my dad actually commuted when I was in high school and was home on the weekend, and I think he raised four pretty good kids.”

For Dungy, it was a deeply introspective process.

He met with his wife, his children, his pastor, had discussions with team owner Jim Irsay, team president Bill Polian and a few Colts players. He called trusted colleagues and longtime friends for advice and then relied on prayers to help him make the choice.

Eventually the first black coach to win a Super Bowl realized he still wanted to coach, had the support at home and even a longtime friend, Jim Caldwell, set up as his successor.

So the 52-year-old Dungy, who holds franchise records for wins in both Indianapolis and Tampa Bay, finally said – why not?

“I wouldn’t come back if I didn’t think we had a chance to win and that I was the very best person to help this organization,” said Dungy, whose contract runs through 2009. “I wouldn’t shortchange my family and wouldn’t come back if my wife and children weren’t for it. That’s how the decision was made.”