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Report: Former Pitt HC Dave Wannstedt Spoke With Northwestern About Coaching Position



Dave Wannstedt hasn’t coached college football since the 2010 season, but that didn’t stop conversations with Northwestern.

In the wake of a hazing scandal that cost long-time head coach Pat Fitzgerald his job, defensive coordinator David Braun was hired as the interim head coach for the 2023 season, but it appears that Northwestern wants to add a veteran presence around him.

In a radio appearance with Mike Mulligan and David Haugh Thursday morning on 670 The Score in Chicago, Wannstedt said that he spoke with Northwestern about a place on the coaching staff but ultimately pulled himself out of consideration.

“What would my role be?” Wannstedt told Mulligan and Haugh. “What’s the role of this guy? You bring somebody else in that’s going to be there everyday, they want you in the press box, involved in the play calling – the players need to be playing for their head coach in my opinion, the coaches need to know that they’re coaching with the head coach as their guy, or everybody is going to sit on their hands and say, ‘OK, you committed to it.’ I was trying to make that point to them, that there might be another way to do it. It was very fluid, that’s the word that I heard.

Wannstedt, 71, last spent time as a coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a special teams coach in 2013.

He began his coaching career as a grad assistant at his alma mater Pitt in 1975 before going on to serve as an assistant at Oklahoma State, USC, Miami at the college level and with the Dallas Cowboys at the NFL level.

He served as the head coach of the Chicago Bears from 1993-98 and the Miami Dolphins from 2000-04, compiling an 82-87 record over that time with three playoff appearances.

Of course, he spent six seasons as the head coach at his Pitt, compiling a 42-31 record and a shared Big East title in 2010. Wannstedt, despite not being able to make a BCS bowl appearance, grew into a beloved figure in Pittsburgh — having grown up in Baldwin — and recruited well throughout his tenure.

Following his resignation after the 2010 season, Wannstedt went on to serve as the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2011 and 2012 before making his last coaching stop in Tampa in 2013.

Wannstedt has worked as a Fox Sports studio analyst since 2014.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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