Jon Krawczynski / AP Sports Writer, Published November 23 2010
NFL: Tony Dungy not interested in joining the VikingsEDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Tony Dungy says he’s not interested in returning as a coach or executive to help straighten out the Minnesota Vikings.
Dungy told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Monday night that he’s happy working as an analyst for NBC and enjoys having the time to watch his son play college football at Oregon.
Dungy’s roots in Minnesota made him a popular candidate with fans to rescue the reeling Vikings. He played quarterback in college for the University of Minnesota and also was defensive coordinator for the Vikings under Denny Green in the 1990s.
Every time a high-profile football opening comes up in Minnesota, at the pro or college level, fans always clamor for the well-respected Dungy to save the day. But Dungy made it clear earlier this year that he was not interested in coaching the Gophers after Tim Brewster was fired.
With coach Brad Childress gone and the Vikings in disarray, there is the possibility that owner Zygi Wilf will restructure the front office and hire a football boss to oversee operations much the way the Cleveland Browns did with Mike Holmgren. Dungy said he isn’t interested in that type of role with the Vikings, who fell to 3-7 after a 31-3 loss to division rival Green Bay on Sunday.
When asked to assess what he thought was going wrong with the Vikings this season, Dungy said “the difference between winning and losing is very slight.”
The Vikings fired Childress on Monday and promoted defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to interim coach.
Frazier was an assistant on Dungy’s Colts staff that won the Super Bowl, and Dungy has long said that he thinks Frazier will be a great head coach.
“I know he feels like he’s ready for the job,” Dungy said.
The two are close friends who talk often, and Frazier said he will lean on Dungy over the final six weeks as he goes through his first experience as a head coach.
“No question, Tony and I will be talking often in the days and weeks to come,” Frazier said.