Well it’s been ten years and 13-9 still won’t go away. Dave Wannstedt will never forget about his signature moment coaching his alma mater. It was also his first victory over West Virginia as a head coach.
When he took a safety with no time left it gave it an unforgettable final score. 13 to 9. A score that West Virginia and Pitt fans will never forget for very different reasons.
“No, not at all. It’s part of Pittsburgh,” Wannstedt said during a phone interview on Tuesday while wrapping up some analyst duties in Chicago. “I’m Pittsburgh. I’m Pitt. I mean, it’s part of who I am and who we are.”
Though Dave Wannstedt didn’t achieve much at Pitt, the image of him stumbling around the sideline on crutches is something neither side will forget. The day his team kept their hated rival from playing for a national championship. Even though Pittsburgh went into the game with a 4-7 record, he had received a contract extension earlier in the day.
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The next three years after 13-9 brought 27 wins for the Panthers, but that was as long as Wannstedt’s Pitt career would advance. After his sixth season he resigned after finishing with a 7-5 record.
West Virginia went on to take care of the Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl by a final score of 48-28. Far from a failure from the season of the season as a whole. The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to that season is that was the season. That was the chance the Mountaineers had to win the national championship. It was right there for the taking. By blitzing through the #4 in the BCS Sooners it further drove home the possibility that the Mountaineers were the best team in the country that season.
Now with the Mountaineers on the brink of the Liberty Bowl or something along this lines, it’s hard not to lament about what might have been for that special Mountaineer team. Meanwhile Dave Wannstedt throws salt in the wound by raving about how the only time a team he coached did anything substantial.