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Former Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Sam Wyche died Thursday in South Carolina after recently being diagnosed with cancer. He was 74.

Wyche’s son, Zak Wyche, confirmed the news to WCPO in Cincinnati.

“It was in his liver, and he just went really fast,” Zak said. “He was able to walk around Saturday with a walker, and then the next morning, he was unresponsive.”

Wyche’s coaching career started in 1967 and spanned more than four decades with stops at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. After his final NFL stop as a quarterbacks coach with the Buffalo Bills ended in 2005, he worked on the staff at Pickens High School in South Carolina.

“He would do anything for anybody,” his son told WCPO. “He’s very selfless. He’d loan people his truck for them to use. He would take care of people in need. He would let people to stay in the house if they were having trouble. He would do things for everybody else.”

The Atlanta native played quarterback at Furman University and made stops with the Bengals, Washington Washington Football Team, Detroit Lions and St. Louis Cardinals as an NFL player.

After one year as head coach at Indiana University, he took over as Cincinnati’s head coach in 1984.

He guided the Bengals to a 61-66 record across eight years highlighted by a trip to Super Bowl XXIII, where they suffered a four-point loss to Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and the San Francisco 49ers.

Wyche moved to the Bucs in 1992. Tampa posted a 23-41 record during his four-year tenure.

He won a Super Bowl as an assistant coach with the Niners in 1982.


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