DALLAS — Dave Wannstedt has changed careers, trading in his headset after a 39-year coaching career to enter the broadcasting world.
Wannstedt, who joined Fox Sports 1 as a college football analyst, spent the past two days helping cover Big 12 Media Days. The former Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins and University of Pittsburgh head coach spoke with The Oklahoman about his career change, his years as an Oklahoma State assistant coach and his view of the Big 12 Conference in 2014.
Q: What’s it like being on this side of things now?
A: “I’m excited about the opportunity. Obviously, I’ve got a passion for football. This has been rejuvenating to me, just being around the coaches and seeing the players and talking to some of them. Hopefully after 39 years of coaching, I have something to bring to the table to enhance the Fox team.”
Do you see yourself returning to coaching someday?
“You know what? I’m excited about having the opportunity for a new career. Last year was my 39th year, so it’s time for a break.”
You spent four seasons as an OSU assistant between 1979 and 1982. What do you remember about those years?
“It was a great four years. We went down there with Jimmy Johnson and felt like we made some headway. Got them to a bowl game or two and met some great friends that I still have.”
What’s your view of the Big 12 entering 2014?
“I think Oklahoma is the most complete team. I like Baylor. I had a chance to visit with Bryce Petty; what an impressive young man. We know what type of player he is, but I wasn’t aware of the type of guy he is. I was really impressed. They graduated a lot on defense, but if Baylor can find a way to play some defense and fill in for some of the guys who graduated, I see it being Baylor and Oklahoma. Those would be my first two picks.”
Do you think Oklahoma’s Sugar Bowl momentum can carry over into this season?
“I remember the last game of the year in 2007 when we upset West Virginia when they were No. 1 in the country. We were 5-7 that year, but what it did, boy, it sure made your offseason fun. I’m sure that Bobby Stoops would say that he felt like he got a couple recruits because of it. I think that’s part of it. But I do know the whole attitude of spring practice, and summer... from your last game until training camp, it’s a lot more on the positive side.”