Colts owner hopes Dungy will return, but Caldwell tapped as heir apparent

NEW YORK -- Assistant head coach Jim Caldwell would replace
Tony Dungy if the Indianapolis Colts coach retires, team owner Jim
Irsay said Thursday night.

Irsay hopes Dungy will return and expects to speak to him this
weekend, the owner said at a party celebrating an exhibition of the
Jack Kerouac "On The Road" manuscript he owns at The New York
Public Library.

Irsay said he might be able to make accommodations for Dungy
such as allowing him to attend his son's high school football games
in Florida on Friday nights. But he has no doubt that Dungy's
commitment will be "100 percent" if he continues coaching.

"That's the type of guy he is," Irsay said.

Otherwise, he said, "Jim Caldwell would be the guy."
The Colts, the Super Bowl champions last year, were 13-3 in the
regular season before falling 28-24 to San Diego last week in their
playoff opener.

Caldwell has been an assistant to Dungy the last seven years --
one in Tampa Bay and the last six with the Colts, where he has
coached quarterback Peyton Manning. Caldwell filled in for Dungy
for one game in 2005 following the death of Dungy's 18-year-old
son, James.

Caldwell spent more than 20 years in college football, and his
only head coaching experience came at Wake Forest. He spent eight
seasons with the Demon Deacons and led them to a bowl game in 1999.

Caldwell turned 52 on Wednesday and has interviewed with the
Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals for head
coaching jobs over the past year.