ECCC welcomes Coach Tony Dungy to fundraising event

From school reports

East Central Community College in Decatur will host “Laying the Foundation: An Evening With Coach Tony Dungy” Friday, in the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia.

The sold-out event featuring the Super Bowl Champion coach and best-selling author will serve as a fundraiser for a new Football Operations Center.

Activities begin with a silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner program at 7 p.m. The silent auction includes various types of sports memorabilia and other specialty items.

In a video message sent to the college, Coach Dungy expressed his excitement about the special event.

“I’m really, really excited about coming down for this fundraiser. I know East Central needs a new football facility and whatever we can do to help that out is going to be fantastic. I look forward to seeing everybody.”

He also reflected on his shared football philosophy with ECCC head football coach Ken Karcher.

“Coach Karcher has the same philosophy that I do. Pro football is great and playing the game is fantastic, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s really about developing personalities and helping people to be better men and that’s what’s really exciting.”

ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart stated, “Preparing for the visit of Coach Dungy to our college has been one of the most exciting things I have been a part of in over 20 years in education. We anticipate many great things happening at and through the event.”

Estimated to cost $4.8 million, the new facility will be located in the north end of Bailey Stadium and will include a state-of-the-art weight room and athletic training facility for all student-athletes. Also included in the plans is a $1 million turf field to replace the existing grass surface.

Coach Dungy is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Quiet Strength and Uncommon. He led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory on February 4, 2007, and established an NFL first by leading his teams to the playoffs for 10 consecutive years.

Dungy has been involved in a wide variety of charitable organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, Mentors for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Prison Crusade Ministry, and All Pro Dad. He also works with Basket of Hope, the Black Coaches Association National Convention, Indiana Black Expo, the United Way of Central Indiana, and the American Diabetes Association.

He retired from coaching in 2008 and now serves as an analyst for NBC’s Football Night in America. He and his wife, Lauren, are the parents of seven children.

Serving as corporate sponsors are Rush Health Systems (Gold Sponsor), Anderson Regional Medical Center (Silver Sponsor) and Valley Services, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor).

For more information, contact Stacey, Hollingsworth, Executive Director for Foundation and Alumni Relations, at 601-635-6327 or by email at