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First Black Super Bowl Coaches Say 'The Lord Set this Up'

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By Nathan Black, Christian Post Reporter
January 23, 2007|12:44 pm

The Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts are headed to Super Bowl XLI and so are the first black head coaches ever to make it all the way to NFL's marquee game.

Lovie Smith of the Bears was followed by Colts' head coach Tony Dungy in a matter of four hours to become the first African American coaches in the big game's 41-year history.

"It means a lot," said Dungy, according to the Associated Press. "I'm very proud to represent African-American coaches."

Not only are they making history representing African-American coaches, but both coaches are also representing Christ.

"The Lord set this up in a way that no one would believe it," said Dungy, according to the Baptist Press. "The Lord tested us a lot this year, but He set this up to get all the glory."

Both Dungy and Smith, who are close friends, gave credit to God after defeating their final opponents to head off to the Super Bowl game.

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While Dungy has had more opportunity to share his Christian faith during his five years coaching the Colts, this is Smith's first tenure as a head coach. And he has already made his faith in Christ apparent.

Smith was one of Dungy's assistants when the two were with Tampa Bay from 1996-2000. Their friendship has grown since.

On Feb. 3, one day before the big game, Dungy will join Campus Crusade for Christ's Athletes in Action for the annual Super Bowl Breakfast.

Dungy was the keynote speaker at last year's Super Bowl breakfast where he shared a message about God's love weeks after his 18-year-old son died. His death was ruled a suicide.

At that time, Dungy said he believes that God placed him in this position not for him and his family to suffer but so they can be an example to others, a testimony.

Colts assistant coach Jim Caldwell had affirmed Dungy's great faith.

"As you know, he's a great man of faith and he's doing okay," Caldwell had said.

The Super Bowl Breakfast will announce the winner of the Bart Starr Award, honoring exemplary character and leadership. Finalists for this year's award are Warrick Dunn, running back for the Atlanta Falcons; John Lynch, safety for the Denver Broncos; and Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.

The Bart Starr Award is one of few individual honors selected by the NFL players themselves.

 

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