Dungy, who began a 10-day national tour Monday to promote the book, said he penned his 301-page memoir after initial reluctance once he realized it was a chance for him to let others know how his faith has helped him overcome personal tragedy and career setbacks.
He said initial response to the memoir has been positive, but he expects it holds more about his life off the field and his religious beliefs than some people might have expected.
"Maybe they thought it was just going to be a book recounting the football story, and that's in there. And I think people do want to know what Peyton Manning's like and what Terry Bradshaw was like, but they're going to be surprised to see some of the things that went into making me the person that I am," he said.
Dungy, the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl, began his book tour with an appearance at the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta. He's scheduled to appear Tuesday on "Good Morning America" followed by a Wednesday appearance on "The Tonight Show."
The 20-chapter book, written with a collaborator, covers the period from his upbringing in Jackson, Mich., to Indianapolis' February Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears. Each chapter begins either with a biblical passage or quotes from people he admires, including his mother and father and former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll.
Dungy credits Noll, his mentor, and former Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green, who was Minnesota's head coach when Dungy was the team's defensive coordinator, with helping him form his approach to football.
"They really helped formulate my philosophy on the field and my parents and my pastors and some of the teachers I had in junior high and high school really formulated the way I think off the field," Dungy said.
"People look at me and see a calm, cool guy on the sidelines and I want them to know that my Christian faith affects my coaching and everything I do. ... Life is more than just jobs. It's more than just football and winning. It's filled with family and relationships."
Dungy's memoir, subtitled "The principles, practices & priorities of a winning life," is being published by Tyndale House Publishers Inc., a Christian publisher in Carol Stream, Ill. Actor Denzel Washington and his wife, Pauletta, penned the forward.
Dungy said he most enjoyed writing about his childhood, his parents, siblings and early influences. Far more difficult was the chapter he devoted to his eldest son, James, who was 18 when he committed suicide in December 2005.
"That was a tough one. We knew we had to include that. And we really wanted to talk about how we dealt with it and moved forward and what we learned from it. We didn't dwell on what happened, but how we got through it, how our faith helped us," he said.