'Samuel David Wyche'
Personal Information
Quarterback, Head Coach
Jersey #(s)
Born: January 5 1945 (1945-01-05) (age 75) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Birthplace: {{{birthplace}}}
Career information
Year(s) 19681976
NFL Supplemental Draft / Pick:
College Furman
Professional teams
As player

As Coach

Career stats
Passing attempts/Passing completions 222/116
Completion Percentage/Passing yards 52.3%/1,748 pass yds.
TD-INT-QB rating 12 TD's-9 INTs-79.6 rating
Stats at
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

  • 2x Division championships (1988, 1990)
  • Conference championship (1988)

Samuel David "Sam" Wyche (born January 5, 1945) is a former American football player and head coach, who is best known as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL. Perhaps best known for introducing the use of the No-huddle offense as a standard offense (as opposed to use at the end of the half), Wyche's greatest achievement as a head coach was leading the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl XXIII, which they lost to the 49ers 20–16, relinquishing the lead with only 34 seconds remaining.

Wyche's 64 wins with the Bengals are the most ever by a coach in their franchise history.

Playing careerEdit


From 1963 to 1965, Wyche played college football at Furman University as a quarterback He was also an initiated member of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity.


In 1968, Wyche played for the Wheeling Ironmen of the Continental Football League. From 19681970, Wyche played for the Cincinnati Bengals. From 1971 to 1973, Wyche played for the Washington Redskins and played in Super Bowl VII. In 1974, Wyche played for the Detroit Lions. In 1976, Wyche played for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1976, Wyche played for the Buffalo Bills.

In 1988, Sam Wyche was inducted into the American Football Association's Semi Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Coaching careerEdit

University of South CarolinaEdit

In 1967, while at the University of South Carolina to receive his MBA, Wyche was an assistant coach for the Gamecocks.

San Francisco 49ersEdit

Wyche was an assistant coach and directed the passing game for the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1982.

Indiana UniversityEdit

In 1983, Wyche was the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers.

Cincinnati BengalsEdit

Wyche was hired as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1984. Known as an emotional coach, he bonded well with his players and occasionally collided with superiors. His ongoing feud with former Houston Oilers head coach Jerry Glanville was best exemplified in late 1989, when the Bengals scored early and often in a 61–7 thrashing. He also helped stoke the flames of the Cleveland - Cincinnati intrastate rivalry with several other comments and play calling during his tenure.

Wyche is known as the "Always Innovative Sam Wyche" by Norman Chad for his unconventional play-calling. Wyche introduced the concept of having 12 or more players huddle on the field, then having a few leave the field. This was meant to confuse the defense as to the personnel grouping and give the offense an advantage. This has since been outlawed in the NFL. His Bengals were also the first to use the No-huddle/hurry-up offense as a base offense.

On December 10, 1989, during a game versus the Seattle Seahawks, Bengals fans in protest of what they perceived to be a bad call by the officials, began to throw beer bottles and other debris onto the field at the referees and the Seahawks, who were at their own 4-yard line and an easy target from the bleachers. Seattle refused to continue until they stopped, and play was halted by the officials. In order to stop the onslaught, Wyche was given a house microphone to try to calm the crowd, asking fans to please point out anyone throwing anything to stadium security and chided the fans who were doing the throwing, and alluded to the reputation of their in-state rivals:[1]

Will the next person that sees ANYBODY throw anything onto this field, point 'em out...and get 'em out of here - you don't live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati!

On December 24, 1991, just three years after the Bengals' Super Bowl appearance, Wyche was fired by owner Mike Brown, who had taken over the team upon the death of his father, club founder Paul Brown, four months earlier. Controversy erupted when the Bengals claimed Wyche had resigned, relieving the team of any future payments, but Wyche stated he was fired.

Tampa Bay BuccaneersEdit

Wyche was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as head coach in 1992. He spent the next four years as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he drafted Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, and John Lynch. He was dismissed at the conclusion of the 1995 season.

Near the end of his tenure with the Bucs, Wyche participated in a lighthearted pregame promotional piece for NFL Films. At the time, Jimmy Johnson, then the recently dismissed coach of the Dallas Cowboys, was rumored to be heading to Tampa Bay to displace Wyche. During the promo, Wyche was about to address his team when general manager Rich McKay ducked his head into the room. He beckoned Wyche out of the room, and instructed him to "bring your playbook." Wyche disappeared, and in walked Johnson wearing a Buccaneers jacket, who then addressed "his" new team, to everyone's surprise.

Buffalo BillsEdit

From 2004 to 2005, Wyche was the quarterbacks coach for the Buffalo Bills.

High SchoolEdit

In 2002, 2003,2006,2007,2008, Wyche volunteered as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Pickens High School Blue Flame in Pickens, South Carolina. He helped the Blue Flame get to the second round of the playoffs in 2006. Sam was a registered substitute teacher in Pickens County schools.

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Indiana Hoosiers (Big Ten Conference) (1983)
1983 Indiana 3–8 2–7 T–8th
Indiana: 3–8 2–7
Total: 3–8


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CIN1984 880.5002nd in AFC Central - - - -
CIN1985 790.4382nd in AFC Central - - - -
CIN1986 1060.6252nd in AFC Central - - - -
CIN1987 4110.2674th in AFC Central - - - -
CIN1988 1240.7501st in AFC Central 2 1 .667 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIII
CIN1989 880.5004th in AFC Central - - - -
CIN1990 970.6881st in AFC Central 1 1 .500 Lost to Los Angeles Raiders in AFC Divisional Round
CIN1991 3130.188 - - - -
CIN Total61660.48032.600
TAM1992 5110.3133rd in NFC Central - - - -
TAM1993 5110.3135th in NFC Central - - - -
TAM1994 6100.3755th in NFC Central - - - -
TAM1995 790.4385th in NFC Central - - - -
TB Total23410.359

Broadcasting careerEdit

In 1996, Wyche worked as a sports analyst with Marv Albert on a weekly NFL game for NBC. In 1997, he was promoted to the studio on NBC's weekly pre-game and half-time shows. He worked as an analyst for CBS with Kevin Harlan on the weekly NFL games from 1998–1999. In 2006, he was named commentator on Westwood One's NFL Thursday night coverage, partnered with Dick Enberg. From 2006–present, he worked with Tom Werme broadcasting Southern Conference Football for Fox Sports South.


Wyche underwent a biopsy on lymph nodes in his chest in 2000. His left vocal cord was severed during the procedure, leaving his voice consistently hoarse and scratchy. From 2004 to 2006, he was a volunteer at Pickens High School in South Carolina as a public speaker.

Political careerEdit

On November 4, 2008, Wyche secured a seat on the County Council for Pickens County, South Carolina.[2] Running as a member of the Republican Party, Wyche defeated Democrat Wesley Burbage for the Pickens seat, by a margin of 6,478 votes to 1,639.[2] In July 2009, Wyche let it be known that he is considering running for the GOP nomination for South Carolina's 3rd congressional district, which is being vacated by incumbent J. Gresham Barrett, who is running for Governor of South Carolina.[3]

See alsoEdit


  2. 2.0 2.1 "Stone, Saitta re-elected", The Pickens Sentinel, published November 4, 2008
  3. Politico

External linksEdit

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