Sam Wyche, former player/coach, has passed away

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Former NFL player and head coach Sam Wyche has passed away. He was 74.

He passed away just days away from his 75th birthday on Jan. 5. Wyche was previously diagnosed with liver cancer in 2019.

Death Candle
Death Candle (Photo by

“Sam was a wonderful guy,” Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown said. “We got to know him as both a player and a coach. As our coach, he had great success and took us to the Super Bowl. He was friends with everyone here, both during his tenure as head coach and afterwards. We not only liked him, we admired him as a man. He had a great generosity of spirit and lived his life trying to help others. We express our condolences to Jane and his children Zak and Kerry.”

Three-plus-years-ago, Wyche was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, where he awaited a heart transplant. On Sept. 12th, 2016, a heart was found and it took 4 ½ hours to transplant it into his body.

Wyche had been a coach with the Pickens High School Blue Flame since 2006. He was their quarterbacks coach from 2006 through 2008. After stepping away, he returned in 2011 as their Offensive Coordinator through the 2019 season.

He also previously worked at the school in 2002 and 2003 as their quarterbacks. He then left to become the Buffalo Bills quarterbacks coach in 2004 and 2005.

Wyche was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach from 1992 through 1995. He also was the Bengals head coach from 1984 through 1991. He also spent the 1983 season as the Indiana Hoosiers head coach.

During his tenure with the Bengals, Wyche guided the team to a Super Bowl XVI win, 26-21, over the San Francisco 49ers at Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan on Jan. 24, 1982.

He was an assistant coach with the 49ers from 1979 through 1982. He began his coaching career with the South Carolina Gamecocks in 1977.

Before his coaching career began, he played for the Wheeling Ironmen in 1966 and 1967. He then joined the Bengals, where he played from 1968 through 1970.

He also played for the Washington Redskins (1971-1973), Detroit Lions (1974), and the St. Louis Cardinals (1976).

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