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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Dave Wannstadt

     (Born May 21, 1952) -- Not too many people have been on both sides of the rivalry between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Dave Wannstadt is in the small class.

     Wannstadt grew up in Pennsylvania and played college football at Pittsburgh with Tony Dorsett. After spending a year on injured reserve for Green Bay in 1974, Wannstadt moved into coaching. He started as a graduate assistant at his alma mater under John Majors, and won a national championship in 1976.

     From there it was on to Oklahoma State, Southern California and Miami (Fla.), where he and head coach Jimmy Johnson won a national championship in 1987. When Johnson left for the Cowboys, Wannstadt followed along.

     The Bears hired Wannstadt to be their head coach in 1993, but he lost his job after the 1998 season. It was off to Miami for Wannstadt, as he served as defensive coordinator under Johnson again and then moved up to be the head coach of the Dolphins when Johnson retired. Then it was on to be the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh.

     In January 2011, Wannstadt was hired as the Bills' assistant head coach. He was promoted to defensive coordinator a year later.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.