The Bills officially announced the hiring of Dave Wannstedt as assistant head coach/inside linebackers on Friday evening.
"We are extremely pleased to have Dave Wannstedt join our staff," Bills head coach Chan Gailey said. "Dave and I have known each other for quite awhile. I respected him when I worked for him, and I'm excited that he is going to be able to join our staff. He'll have the title of assistant head coach and will be coaching the inside linebackers. I look forward to him being able to help our team in many ways. With his amount of experience he certainly should be able to do that. We look forward to having him."
Wannstedt, who was forced to resign after six seasons as head coach of the University of Pittsburgh, his alma mater, returns to the NFL, where he has 16 years of coaching experience at the pro level. He also reportedly had been considered for the Browns' defensive coordinator job that went to ex-Bills head coach Dick Jauron.
The Bills fired LBs coach DeMontie Cross after the season.
Wannstedt spent 11 years as a head coach with Miami (2000-04) and Chicago (1993-98). Prior to that, he was the defensive coordinator for Super Bowl champion Dallas.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity given to me by Mr. (Ralph) Wilson and (GM) Buddy Nix to be part of a great organization with a rich tradition," Wannstedt said. "I've coached in Ralph Wilson Stadium several times. I am excited to have those great Bills fans supporting our team and making it difficult for opposing offenses each week."
"I've known Chan for several years," Wannstedt added. "Chan's had success everywhere he's been. Knowing what he's about as a football coach, knowing what he believes in and having worked with him in Miami, I know he has the winning formula. I'm excited to be part of this coaching staff and am looking forward to making a difference with this defense."
Wannstedt had hired Gailey to be his offensive coordinator for two seasons when Wannstedt was head coach in Miami.
The way we see it
Wannstedt will be faced with the task of helping defensive coordinator George Edwards turn around a struggling Bills defense. The Buffalo "D" ranked 24th overall last season and 32nd against the run. Wannstedt's extensive experience should help mold a struggling Bills defense.