It hasn’t taken long for the NFL world to be saddened in 2020 as one of the true greats has now been lost. It was revealed today that former player and head coach Sam Wyche died due to complications from cancer. He was the coach of the Cincinnati Bengals the last time the team made it to the Super Bowl back in 1988 — and the team hasn’t come nearly that close to securing those coveted rings since then.
The news of Wyche’s passing comes just one day after the sports world lost another great in former NBA commissioner David Stern. At the age of 77, Stern died less than one month after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
WCPO-TV reported the death, by way of ESPN. Wyche’s son revealed that his father died due to the complications from cancer.
Wyche was a quarterback in the Continental Football League and signed with the expansion Cincinnati Bengals of the American Football League in 1968. He stayed with the Bengals and played with the team as they entered the NFL in the NFL-AFL merger of 1970.
Wyche spent time with the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions and St. Louis Cardinals before moving on to coaching. After a short stint as a college coach, he was hired as head coach of the Bengals in 1984 and ended up spending eight seasons in that position.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 2, 2020
Wyche took a struggling Bengals team and led them to a 61-66 record during his tenure and an appearance in Super Bowl XXIII. While they put forth a strong effort, the Bengals could not overcome Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers who won the game 20-16.
The conclusion of his time in Cincinnati is a bit of a question mark as the team said that Wyche resigned while he stated that he was fired. If he truly had resigned, the Bengals wouldn’t have been responsible for future payments.
In 1992, Wyche headed down to Florida to become the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with which he spent four years.
WCPO had a statement from Zak Wyche, Sam’s son, who said his father passed away at his home this afternoon.
“It was in his liver and he just went really fast. He was able to walk around Saturday with a walker and then the next morning he was unresponsive.”
As a player and a coach, Wyche made his mark in the sports world, especially on professional football. After leaving the professional world, he went on to be a volunteer head coach at high schools near his home.