Tony Wise, an accomplished 37-year coaching veteran of collegiate and professional football, is in his third season as Pitt's offensive line coach.
Wise's offensive line was instrumental in helping the Panthers' average 32.1 points per game last year, one of the top five scoring averages in school history. The Panthers gave up only 1.15 sacks per game, tops in the Big East and 16th nationally. Moreover, Pitt's offensive front paved the way for the country's No. 3 rusher in Dion Lewis (138.38 yards per game). Lewis' total of 1,799 yards is the second-highest single-season total in Pitt history. Under Wise's guidance, guard John Malecki and tackle Jason Pinkston were first-team All-Big East honorees in 2009. Pinkston was also named a second team All-American by SI.com and Rivals.com. In 2008, Pitt's offensive line helped produce the nation's 10th-leading rusher in LeSean McCoy (1,488 yards and 21 touchdowns). Offensive guard C.J. Davis was selected first team All-Big East that year and now is a member of the Carolina Panthers.
Wise's Pitt appointment reunited him with Dave Wannstedt, who he coached with on six prior occasions, and returned him to a place where he received one of his first college coaching positions.
Wannstedt and Wise first worked together on Jackie Sherrill's Pitt coaching staff during the 1977 and '78 seasons. Wannstedt coached receivers and special teams under Sherrill, while Wise was the Panthers' assistant offensive line coach. They would go on to serve on the same staffs with Oklahoma State, the University of Miami, the Dallas Cowboys and during Wannstedt's head coaching tenures with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.
Prior to his 2008 return to Pitt, Wise spent 18 years coaching offensive lines in the National Football League, including the 2006 and '07 seasons with the New York Jets. From 2001-04, he spent four seasons at Miami, where his offensive lines helped produce the two highest individual single-season rushing totals in franchise history. During the 2002 season, the Dolphins rushed for 156.4 yards per game to rank first in the AFC and second in the NFL.
From 1999-2000, Wise served with the Carolina Panthers. During the '99 season, Carolina averaged 4.3 yards per rush to rank fifth in the NFL. Wise served on Wannstedt's Chicago staff from 1993-98. In four of those six seasons, the Bears ranked in the top 10 of the NFL in fewest sacks allowed, including a league-low 15 in 1995. Wise added the duties of assistant head coach his final four seasons in Chicago.
Wise's NFL career began in 1989 with the Dallas Cowboys, where he coached the offensive line for four seasons (1989-92) under Jimmy Johnson. Wise's line paved the way for Emmitt Smith, who claimed back-to-back NFL rushing titles in 1991 and 1992. Smith rushed for 1,563 yards during the '91 campaign and 1,713 during the Cowboys' Super Bowl championship season in '92.
Dallas rolled past Buffalo, 52-17, in Super Bowl XXVII, the Cowboys' first NFL title in 15 years. Wise's offensive front was vital to the championship run, allowing the second-fewest sacks in the NFL (23). He coached a pair of 1992 Pro Bowlers in center Mark Stepnoski, a former Pitt standout, and guard Nate Newton.
Wise also served under Johnson while with the Miami Hurricanes from 1985-88. His UM tenure witnessed the Hurricanes' emergence as a national power. Miami went 34-2 during Wise's final three seasons there, including a 12-0 mark in winning the 1987 national championship.
A native of Newtonville, N.Y., Wise was an offensive lineman at Ithaca College from 1969-72. He also lettered in lacrosse at Ithaca and played on the school's hockey team. Wise began his coaching career in 1973 at Albany State, where he worked with the outside linebackers. He later coached the offensive lines at Bridgeport (1974), Central Connecticut (1975) and on Jackie Sherrill's staff at Washington State (in 1976 as assistant offensive line coach). Wise's additional collegiate stops include Oklahoma State (under Jimmy Johnson from 1979-83) and Syracuse (1984).
Hometown: Newtonville, N.Y.
Alma Mater: Ithaca, '73
Years/Position: 1973, outside linebackers.
Years/Position: 1974, offensive line.
Central Connecticut State
Years/Position: 1975, offensive line.
Years/Position: 1976, assistant offensive line coach.
Years/Position: 1977-78, assistant offensive line coach.
Years/Position: 1979-83, offensive line.
Years/Position: 1984, offensive line.
Years/Position: 1985-88, offensive line.
Years/Position: 2008-present, offensive line.
Years/Position: 1989-92, offensive line.
Years/Position: 1993-98, offensive line; 1995-98, assistant head coach.
Years/Position: 1999-2000, offensive line.
Years/Position: 2001-04, offensive line.
New York Jets
Years/Position: 2006-07, offensive line.
Pitt Football Spring Drills: Day 7 Recap
Pitt Football Spring Drills: Day 5 Recap
Pitt Football Welcomes 30 NFL Teams for Annual Pro Day
Pitt Football Spring Drills: Day 4 Recap
Chancellor Gallagher Names Heather Lyke Pitt Athletic Director
Pitt Football Spring Drills: Day 3 Recap