Dave Wannstedt has been hired to coach special teams for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a role the defensive-minded coach served in his first coaching stint more than 40 years ago.
Wannstedt bounced back after being fired from his defensive coordinator post by the Buffalo Bills, which canned the entire coaching staff following the team’s second consecutive 6-10 season. The Bills came into the season with high expectations after splurging on free agents Mario Williams and Mark Anderson on the defensive side of the ball.
But the defense struggled, giving up large chunks to opposing defenses and failing to get consistent pressure, much of the blame well on Wannstedt and his lack of creativity in schemes.
Despite having two cracks at head coaching gigs in the NFL — going 82-87 in seasons with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins — Wannstedt has had difficulty finding a long-term job in the NFL. Some believed he had a chance to turn around his career in Buffalo, where he quickly rose from a linebackers coach to defensive coordinator, but the team’s failed season doomed that attempt.
More recently, Wannstedt served as head coach at Pitt where he played in college, ESPN noted. He got his coaching career started at Pitt as well, leading the special teams unit as an assistant in the 1977-78 season.
Now that Dave Wannstedt has been hired by Tampa, he will reunite with Bucs head coach Greg Schiano, Pro Football Weekly noted. The two worked together on the Chicago Bears staff from 1996 through 1998 and then met again as rivals in the Big East (when Wannstedt was at Pitt and Schiano at Rutgers).