Dave Wannstedt wasn’t ready to retire but when he started to consider opportunities to get back into coaching for the upcoming football season, he realized it was probably time to consider a different career path.
He wanted to stay connected to the game, so instead of calling plays and devising game plans he will offer his expert analysis on Fox Sports college football pregame studio shows as well as co-host a weekly preview show on the Big Ten Network.
“I guess I am moving to the dark side, so to speak,” Wannstedt said, then laughed. “Now it is my turn to comment on the work of coaches…and athletic directors.”
The latter part of that was a not so subtle jab at Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson, who fired Wannstedt as Pitt’s coach after the 2010 season.
Wannstedt, who is from Baldwin, played for Pitt under Johnny Majors and was the Panthers head coach at Pitt from 2004 -10. He said he is excited about this opportunity because it is new and he believes he has a lot to offer from his 39 years in coaching in the NFL and college.
“I reached out to several media outlets to see if I could get into the TV side of things and Fox offered me this job after several discussions,” said Wannstedt, who last year was the special teams coordinator with the Tampa Bay Bucs. “I have always had it in the back of my mind that this is what I wanted to do and now I have the opportunity and it should be really a lot of fun and I think it is something that will be a challenge but that I’m really looking forward to.”
Wannstedt said he will appear in the studio for a one-hour pregame show prior to all Fox college football broadcasts and then also do the halftime and post-game show.
The show will be hosted by Rob Stone, and Wannstedt will be joined by Joel Klatt as the analysts. It will also utilize a number of insiders, like Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel.
Wannstedt, who will be based in Chicago but will fly to Los Angeles for the Fox Shows each weekend, will also co-host a weekly preview show each Wednesday on the Big Ten Network and will host an NFL/College football weekend wrap-type radio show in Chicago each Monday.
“Obviously, I’ll be busy but this is a good change for me,” Wannstedt said. “It was time to do something different, but this keeps me in the game and obviously I have a passion for football and a lot of insight after being in coaching for so long.”
Paul Zeise: pzeise@post-gazette, 412-263-1720 and Twitter @paulzeise First Published July 23, 2014 12:00 AM