Tomlin: Dungy a 'special person'

January, 13, 2009
1/13/09
4:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- In the midst of the biggest game of his coaching career, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had no problem taking time out to pay his respects to recently retired Colts head coach Tony Dungy.

 
  Michael Fabus/Getty Images
  Steelers coach Mike Tomlin described his mentor, Tony Dungy, as "the ultimate coach, the ultimate motivator."

"He's a special, special person," Tomlin said during his weekly news conference Tuesday.

Dungy is a role model to many in the coaching community, including Tomlin, who is preparing Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship Game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Tomlin spent one year as an assistant under Dungy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But even after Dungy joined the Indianapolis Colts, he remained a mentor to Tomlin.

While everyone has been praising Dungy's character in the past day or so, Tomlin also wanted to make sure Dungy is celebrated as a great football coach as well.

"He's the ultimate coach, the ultimate motivator," Tomlin said. "Oftentimes he's expressionless in the midst of battle. But those that work with him understand what a great motivator and how he inspires men."

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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