Sam Wyche, former Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has passed away at age 74 due to melanoma complications. The Atlanta native will be best remembered by those in Cincinnati for taking their team to one of the two Super Bowls the team has gone to in its history. Wyche’s inception into higher level football came with his college career at Furman University. Wyche’s NFL career as a player was most worthy of note playing for the Bengals, where he played in 24 games over the course of three years. The late coach’s NFL coaching started in San Francisco where he won Super Bowl XVI with the 49ers in 1981.
After a year as the Indiana Hoosiers’ head coach in 1983, Wyche joined the Bengals in 1984. In the 1988 season, Wyche reached the Super Bowl with the Bengals, where his team lost 20-16 on a last minute touchdown at the hands of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. Here are the highlights from the game.
Wyche should be remembered in his life as a jovial and outlandish person, and in the NFL as a creative and daring coach. He was nicknamed “Wicky Wacky” by other NFL coaches for his strange play schemes and, at the time, strange no huddle offense. Wyche was the first to utilize a no huddle offense as his standard offensive mode, which has been emulated by countless NFL, NCAA, and high school teams across the nation. Although being named “Wicky Wacky” was used in a pejorative way by other coaches, it seemed to fit him in the perfect way. Wyche was part of the genesis of one of the greatest NFL careers of all time, that of Joe Montana. Perhaps Montana needed a little bit of madness in his young days like Brady needs Belichick, or how Lamar Jackson needs Harbaugh.
Wyche was an extremely fun character, as he did what he liked to do in a very highly scrutinized league. His spat with Houston Oilers head coach, Jerry Glanville seems like it could be a fairytale nowadays. The height of the feud came in 1989 when Wyche called an onside kick while he was beating the Oilers by 45 points to regain possession. His men ended up taking home the victory with a margin of victory at 61-7. No one could ever say Sam Wyche did not live his NFL life to the fullest.
The Bengals payed their respects to the late great by tweeting out the video of Sam Wyche as the #53 best character in NFL history.
One of a kind. pic.twitter.com/fPcYdoonoG
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 2, 2020
Sam Wyche was an NFL legend, through and through. He will be missed by his family, friends, former teammates, players, as well as the entire city of Cincinnati.