Wyant, an FSU assistant in late 1960s, dies at 81

Gary Wyant, who coached Florida State’s linebackers and later defensive backs from 1966-69, died on Sunday in Knoxville, Tenn., at 81.

Wyant played quarterback and safety at Wichita State from 1958-61. He was also an assistant coach at Wichita, FSU, Georgia and Tennessee and Texas Tech.

“He was, in my opinion, one of the best defensive back coaches in college football,” said John Crowe, who played defensive back at FSU from 1966-68 and had nine career interceptions. “Coach Wyant was affectionately known as ‘Daddy Rat’ and our group of defensive backs were known as the ‘Rat Pack’ because we were small and aggressive – like a bunch of wild mice.”

In the book “Sons of the Sixties,” Crowe wrote extensively about Wyant. Crowe said the Seminoles recorded 63 interceptions from 1967-69, leading the nation with 25 in 1968. FSU also played in the Sun Bowl, Gator Bowl and Peach Bowl after three of the seasons Wyant was at FSU.

Knoxville’s Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel is handling arrangements, which are pending, according to Tennessee’s athletics site.