South Carolina: Former NFL Coach May Seek Barrett’s Seat

Posted July 22, 2009 at 6:42pm

Former NFL coach Sam Wyche said Wednesday that he’s contemplating throwing his hat into the already crowded GOP primary to replace Rep. Gresham Barrett (R) in the 3rd district.

Wyche, who won a four-year term on the Pickens County Council last year, said he plans to make a final decision in the coming months.

“I am in the process of informal conversations … trying to get a feel about whether I’m the right guy,— Wyche said. “I’m not the rich guy, I’m not the guy with a [family legacy] and I’m not acquainted with anything inside the Beltway other than Georgetown after a ball game.—

What Wyche would be is the guy with a lot of name recognition stemming from more than 20 years as a professional football player and coach.

Wyche is probably best known for taking the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl XXIII as head coach. The Bengals lost that game in the final minute. Wyche retired from the NFL in 1995.

Besides his work for the Pickens County Council, Wyche is involved in local volunteer work, including serving as assistant coach for a high school football team.

A half-dozen GOP candidates — including a state Senator and two state Representatives — have already filed for the 3rd district race.

“I would definitely be one of those outsiders coming in, which I think probably would mean I’d have to battle hard just to get an audience with the right people,— Wyche said. “But I’m hoping they’ll remember that I made a few good calls on third down and we made first downs.—

The 3rd district is a GOP stronghold where the Republican nominee should cruise to victory in the general election. Barrett is leaving the seat to run for governor.