It's Official: Wannstedt Signs Extension
Mullin, John, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: John Mullin Daily Herald Sports Writer
Dave and Jan Wannstedt can go ahead, unpack and hang things on the wall after all.
After 20 years of no more than four years in any one place, Wannstedt appears destined to be in Chicago for at least eight after signing a three-year extension to his first Bears contract.
The deal follows the Bears on March 1 exercising the option to retain Wannstedt through 1997. Now he is in line to be the Bears' coach in the year 2000 and in whatever new stadium the team, city and state work out.
Wannstedt's coaching career has included four years at the University of Pittsburgh, four at Oklahoma State, three at USC, three at the University of Miami and four with the Dallas Cowboys.
But the longevity factor was not uppermost in Wannstedt's decision to extend his stay in Chicago.
"The bottom line in this whole thing is not about years, not about money," Wannstedt said. "It's about commitment to the Bears to get to the Super Bowl.
"The same reasons why I chose to come to Chicago three years ago have not changed, they've only gotten stronger in my mind. The great tradition of the Bears, the great fans in Chicago, all these things make this great opportunity awfully, awfully exciting to be a player or coach in the city of Chicago."
The Bears are 25-23 in Wannstedt's first three years, including 9-7 the past two seasons. They were the only winning team not to qualify for the playoffs last year, but they reached the postseason in 1994 and upset the Minnesota Vikings. …