Sam Wyche Dies At 74 Years Old

January 2nd, 2020

Joe sure remembers the excitement of the Bucs’ 5-2 start during the 1995 season. “Five-Dash-Two” was the famous quote from then-head coach Sam Wyche.

It all fell apart for Wyche and the Bucs after that, and that season ended Wyche’s interesting and entertaining NFL head coaching career.

Today, Wyche died at 74 years old.

Buccaneers co-owner Bryan Glazer issued a statement:

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Sam Wyche earlier today. Sam’s innovative approach to offense left a lasting mark on the game of football. As our head coach in the early 1990s, Sam was instrumental in drafting cornerstone players such as John Lynch, Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, who were all key foundational parts of our eventual Super Bowl championship. The Buccaneers organization sends its heartfelt condolences to his wife, Jane, and the entire Wyche family.”

Omitted there by Glazer was Wyche luring middle linebacker beast Hardy Nickerson to Tampa from the Steelers at the start of the 1993, one of the cornerstone moves that led to unprecedented success during the Father Dungy era.

49 Responses to “Sam Wyche Dies At 74 Years Old”

  1. Wesley Says:

    Dungy turned us around but Wyche planted the seed.

  2. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    The Man

    The Myth

    The Legend

  3. RustyRhinos Says:

    RIP coach Wyche. Enjoyed your candor and the many elements you brought to the NFL. Condolences to the Wyche family. Sad to hear of this loss.

  4. MadMax Says:

    I remember going to his sports stores as a kid….couldnt buy anything because i was poor but that store made me feel like a 5 year old surrounded by candy when i was 10.

  5. tmaxcon Says:

    RIP whyche is the only reason bucs had a shot at thier fluke championship.

    The Dude built dungy the clowns defense and the clown failed to capitalize wastinga generationaltalentfor 6 years. . The one dimensional bum could not field a complete team therefore dungy the clown was not a complete head coach..Dungy coached a horrible team with a highly ranked defense that could not win in postseason. Whyche belongs in ring of honor not dungy the clown

    Dungys tenure was failure the only ones who defend him base it on meaningless feel good bs and thier mutual cult membership not actual on field results.

    Dungy the clowns offenses made lovie and mike smiths defensive units look competent

  6. John.L Says:

    R.I.P Sam.

  7. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Hardy Nickerson one of the 1st free agents !
    Rest In Peace Sam!
    Freaking skin cancer!.. fatal 100% of the time once established

  8. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Sam Wyche was a star at Furman. He parlayed that into Sam Wyche Sports World in Greenville SC, between college and the pros.

    He took some time off after playing and returning to coach for Bill Walsh.

    During that time I was a morning DJ on the Greenville Top 40 station and did his commercials. Got to know him pretty well and once a friend and I took him up to nearby Beech Mountain to go snow skiing.

    We asked if he wanted to start on the beginner slope but he decided to ride up with us. I literally planted my head in a mogul much to everyone’s amusement. Sam was even worse.
    It took him forever to get down the hill. He was a great sport about it.

    People can have their own opinions of his coaching…but for me I knew him as a truly great human being. He was wickedly witty, full of energy, and joyful. On a personal level Sam was easily my favorite athlete…out of hundreds..I ever worked with.

    He was a good Christian. Not flamboyant he let his actions speak for him spiritually.

    This is truly sad news for me.

  9. Dougyballs Says:

    RIP coach. I will always pound the wall to the stupid fans that give Dungy the credit when it was you that drafted the HOFs ( and kiffin coached ) your legacy lives

  10. Chris K Says:

    RIP Coach

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    RIP, Coach Wyche.

  12. FortMyersDave Says:

    RIP coach. Sam I AAm will always be remembered for 5 dash 2. I was also a fan of his coaches show on WTOG. Dude has some epic sound bites that ranked up there with Coaches McKay and Arians.

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    My favorite Wyche moment wasn’t in Tampa, it’s when he stopped the fans from throwing snowballs at a Bengals home game by saying “This isn’t Cleveland, this is Cincinnati!!”.

  14. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Sad news, RIP Coach Wyche. A truly good man.

  15. Dapostman Says:

    “You don’t live in Cleveland, ya live in Cincinnati!”

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Yeah, I was trying to quote him from memory. You are correct, Sir.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    He also got Anthony Munoz to sign with Tampa. It was gonna be Munoz at Left Guard, Paul Gruber at Left Tackle. Munoz got hurt a preseason so it didn’t work out, but I was excited to have him.

  18. Joe in Michigan Says:

    *In preseason*

  19. Jgar Says:


  20. HeavyE Says:

    R.I.P Coach Great Coach, but a Better Man!

  21. Buc believer Says:

    Wyche should get FAR more credit than the overrated never could win a Super Bowl with the Bucs Dungy He is the one who put all the pieces into play.

  22. Wesley Says:

    @buc believer – you’re absolutely right, he deserves more respect.

  23. Capeaceiskaput Says:

    So long Sam. When the Bucs hired him he was a legit head coach, a little wacky but still legit. He started the team back on the path to at least mediocracy as opposed to where they had been for most of the 80’s, early 90’s. His last year as coach they went 7 dash 9. For long suffering Bucs fans that was the first time in 12 years that they did not lose 10+ games.

  24. '79Defense Says:

    I’m surprised there aren’t more comments on here about Sam, but I suppose many fans aren’t old enough to recall.

    I”ll always remember the overtime win against the Packers under the lights in Tampa in December of ’95. It guaranteed that we wouldn’t lose 10 games for the first time since freaking 1982. When that overtime kick was made it felt like we won the Super Bowl. I don’t know if I was ever as excited after a win.

    We actually had a very outside shot at the playoffs and a couple friend and I decided to drive from Orlando to Cicago for the game the following week– where we were completely destroyed… but that’s ok. We weren’t going to to have 10 losses.

    (Joe, I could be wrong, but I think the 5 dash 2 quote may have come the week prior when he told a reporter “just don’t misprint 4 dash 2.”

    Anyway, thanks for the memories Coach. You didn’t get the credit you deserved.

  25. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Coach Wyche was a very innovative offensive guy. A disciple of the legendary Bill Walsh, he had an insightful and creative mind! RIP Coach.

  26. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I liked Sam

    R.I.P. Sam

  27. Capeaceiskaput Says:

    Another note on Sam. He actually played under Paul Brown as a QB with the Bengals, which I think Bill Walsh was on the staff at the time, then eventually Sam ended up as an assistant on the 49ers under Walsh, where Holmgren was, then I think those guys spawned off Reid and even Gruden. He was a part of that whole tree and had a lot of success. Maybe I am just showing my age, but the NFL seemed more fun back then and guys like Wyche brought more character. Some of the guys now a days seem like robots. We need to appreciate those old dinosaurs. Even our current old dinosaur head coach. No one is mistaking guys like Wyche or BA or Parcells for dead when they were/still are alive, but can anyone tell me if Dan Quinn has a pulse. ..same thing with all the pretty boys spawned by McVey. It’s like the Stepford Head Coaches with that group.

  28. ModHairKen Says:

    Sam Wyche was a good man who made us feel better after getting jilted by Parcells. He once said something to the effect of “I treat everyone equally by treating them differently.” I get that.

    May God welcome him home.

  29. Gottbbux Says:

    I’ll never forget on April fools day he went off on a reporter and quit said I quit! I was in shock and he turned around and revealed it was an April fools joke! RIP Sam!!

  30. Buc1987 Says:


    R.I.P. Sam Wyche.

    I worked at a Bay area resort around the time he was H.C. that’s where I met the man. He was giving some motivational speech in the off season to a bunch of businessmen. I saw him in the hallway and I of course struck up a convo about my beloved Bucs.

    74. Huh? Will tell the wife in the morning.

    Times a flyin’.

    Go Bucs!

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Thank you for your service. Sleep Well Coach.

  32. Bucs4821 Says:

    This caught me off guard. After giving this some thought, I believe Sam was a very underrated coach. He left the franchise in a much better position than when he arrived. That’s quite a feat having 3 of 4 seasons under the ownership of Culverhouse! I’m pretty certain that it was McKay that made the decision to draft Sapp in 1995 and I believe Dungy would’ve wanted nothing to do with Sapp had he been the coach a year earlier. My condolences to the Wyche family.

  33. Frank Pillow Says:

    RIP Coach Wyche aka breaker of the 12 year double digit losing streak with a monumental win over the Pack!

  34. RODNEY ALLEN Says:

    RIP Sam u made that great defensive era all possible n was great HC. U will be greatly missed sir

  35. MadMax Says:

    @StPete, im in greenville, born and raised….i probably heard you on the radio. Did you know Russ Cassel and Lee Alexander? I knew and worked with both.

  36. Buczilla Says:

    R.I.P Sam
    This dude was quite the character and very entertaining.

  37. Pruritus Ani Says:

    Very sad. The guy really knew talent. May he rest in peace.

  38. Clean House Says:

    This makes me sad

  39. MadMax Says:

    Moderation for what????? was there a trigger word? this is ridiculous.

  40. mark2001 Says:

    Altered…Melanoma isn’t always deadly, even when well established. But it usually is, and when one survives, all they can do is thank God for their survival and for their skillful surgeon. It is certainly something to be vigilant about constantly.

  41. Mr Magoo Says:

    Sad, he was a fine man

  42. Bucsfanman Says:

    Rest in peace coach.

    Coach Wyche never really got enough credit for setting the foundation of what would be one of the league’s best defenses. One has to wonder what Dungy’s vaunted Tampa 2 would look like without the HOF players drafted by Wyche.

  43. mark2001 Says:

    I often wonder if we would have ever won a SB without him? Would Tony have drafted “troubled youngster” Warren as Sam did? I doubt it. DB..sure. But have to give him credit for being the right man in the right place during that draft.

  44. Buc50 Says:

    One of my favorite Buc coaches. He left his mark on the game with innovation and HOF players that he drafted.

    It’s a shame that we have a couple of yahoos who would rather throw stones at Dungy instead of taking the time to give this man his due.

    Rest easy Coach

  45. BeaverSqueezer Says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Wyche. and Rich McKay at for Greenfields one night. They were both very affable and we shared some jokes. Rest In Peace, Coach.

  46. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Wyche BUILT the Bucs’ Super Bowl team…….no doubt about that.

  47. bojim Says:

    Wesley Says:
    January 2nd, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Dungy turned us around but Wyche planted the seed.

    +1 I even liked him at Cincy. RIP.

  48. miken Says:

    Great man! Great Coach! Innovator. Took the hapeless bungles to the super bowl and almost beat montanna. Started the turnaround in Tampa while the franchise was a total joke. RIP Mr. Wyche

  49. Troy Says:

    One of my favorites in this league. Really made me want to play the game when I was a kid and I love it when he came to Tampa. Props to one of the most standup guys in the sport! RIP Coach!