Lovie Smith, who first came into the NFL as a member of Tony Dungy's staff with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996, reacted to Dungy's retirement from the Indianapolis Colts on Monday.
"I'm happy for Tony and his family, but sad for our league because we are losing one of the all-time great coaches,'' Smith said in a release. "He is one of the modern-day pioneers of our game. His résumé includes achievements no other NFL head coach has accomplished, which I'm sure will lead to a spot in the Hall of Fame. And as great of a coach as he is, he's an even better person.
"I owe Tony a lot. I would not be in my position today if it wasn't for him providing me with an opportunity and mentorship. I learned a tremendous amount of football in my time with Tony in Tampa and made a friend for life. I'm proud to be a member of his coaching tree."
Smith lost to Dungy and the Colts in Super Bowl XLI when they became the first African-American coaches to lead a team to the Super Bowl.