MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Fred Wyant, who starred for the WVU football team at quarterback from 1952-55, died Saturday after months of declining health.
A native of Weston, Wyant is one of the most prolific signal-callers in program history, winning 30 games in a four-yea stretch with the Mountaineers, but went on to play professionally and spent nearly three decades as an official and referee in the NFL.
While at WVU under coach Art “Pappy” Lewis, donning No. 11, Wyant passed for 2,655 yards and 21 touchdowns in four seasons, highlighted by a Sugar Bowl berth in 1954. He also was a two-way player, seeing action as a linebacker and safety for the Mountaineers.
Off the field, Wyant was a three-time academic All-American. He also played one season with the WVU baseball team, playing first base and finishing with an impressive batting average of .406.
After WVU, Wyant participated in the Hula Bowl and was drafted in the third round of the NFL draft by the then-Washing Redskins. He spent one season in D.C. and went on to play one year with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.
Following his playing days, Wyant worked as a referee at the high school and small college levels, but he steadily continued up the ranks, eventually doing major college games before culminating in the NFL. He worked 27 years from 1966-92 as an official and referee and was even involved in several playoff games.
After football, Wyant had several successful businesses in Morgantown, including an insurance company and tennis and racquet club in Westover.
In 2001, “Offsides! : Fred Wyant’s Provocative Look Inside the National Football League”was published as Wyant worked with Rene A. Henry on the book.
Wyant also worked with the Mountaineer Sports Network as an analyst for a few years and worked with The Dominion Post on several projects.
Wyant was inducted into the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1984 and WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. He was also named an inaugural member of the Mountaineer Legends Society in 2016.
According to Wyant’s obituary, a memorial service will be held at a later date. At his request, his body will be donated to WVU for the advancement of science and medicine. Donations may be made in Wyant’s name to Amedisys Hospice, 5007 Mid Atlantic Drive, Morgantown, WV 26508.