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Dungy was born on October 6 1955 in Jackson Michigan Unlike many of his jock peers Dungy grew up in a family that valued intellectual accomplishments as much as athletic ones His father Wilbur is a retired physiology professor His mother Cleomae was a high school English teacher for many years Dungys siblings include a sister who is an obstetrician another who is a nurse and a dentist brother Even in a household where the focus was on academics however Dungy was drawn to football at an early age While the elder Dungy concentrated on his studies Dungy starred as a basketball guard and an option quarterback in football at Jacksons Parkside High School It was his football exploits that captured the attention of University of Minnesota head coach Cal Stoll By the end of his freshman year at Minnesota Dungy had cracked the starting lineup It quickly became clear that Dungys approach to the game was a cerebral one While his teammates hit the bars and engaged in other standard collegiate pursuits Dungy spent his spare time watching game films and analyzing his opponents As star quarterback for the Golden Gophers from 1973 to 1976 Dungy finished his college career ranked fourth in total offense among all players in the history of the Big Ten conference In his accomplishments at Minnesota Dungys small stature and questionable throwing arm put off many pro scouts and he was passed over in the NFL draft He signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers where coach Chuck Noll quickly converted him into a defensive back Although he lacked the size power and speed of other players at his position Dungy made the team on the strength of his astute understanding of the defense the Steelers were running and his ability to anticipate the moves of opposing receivers based on long hours of studying teams plays Dungy soon became a key role as a reserve on
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