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Dungy named semifinalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Tony Dungy's illustrious career is getting closer to reaching the mecca of professional football.

The former Gophers quarterback and Super Bowl-winning player and coach in the NFL was named one of 25 semifinalists for the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, the Hall of Fame announced Thursday. This is Dungy's first year of eligibility.

Dungy would go in as a head coach. He led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996-2001 and the Indianapolis Colts from 2002-2008. He guided the Colts -- with the help of Peyton Manning -- to a Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears in 2006.

As the Star Tribune notes, Dungy's coaching career never would have launched if not for a stellar stretch from 1992-95 as the Vikings defensive coordinator.

After playing quarterback for the Gophers, Dungy reached the NFL as an undrafted free agent for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He changed his postition to defensive back and he went on to win a Super Bowl with the Steelers in 1978.

Former Vikings kicker Morten Anderson and running back Roger Craig are also semifinalists. Former Gophers defensive star Karl Mecklenburg, who went on to dominate with the Broncos, also made the cut. Here's the full list of semifinalists, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.

The list will be reduced to 15 finalists during a one-hour special on NFL Network on Jan. 8. Up to seven Hall of Famers will be announced before the Super Bowl.

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