Written by Greg Walker
Fred Wyant, a four-year letterwinner at quarterback for the Mountaineers from 1952-55, led WVU in scoring, total offense and passing during his tenure. Wyant was 30-4 as a starter, and guided the Mountaineers to a berth in the 1954 Sugar Bowl.
Born April 26, 1934, at Weston, Wyant spent his early years in both his hometown and in nearby Glenville. He was a three-sport star in football, baseball and basketball for Weston High School.
The 5-11, 205-pounder then enrolled at West Virginia University where he became one of the greatest signal-callers in Mountaineer history. Wyant is the only quarterback to lead WVU to three straight wins against Penn State (1953-54-55). He still ranks among the WVU career top 10 in total offense (3,426), passing yardage (2,663), pass attempts (401), and touchdown passes (20). His 83-yard touchdown pass to Harry Sweeney versus Fordham in 1954 is still the fourth longest in WVU history. One of his greatest games came in the 1954 season opener, a 26-6 dismantling of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., after the Gamecocks had just toppled highly ranked Army.
Wyant earned Academic All-America honors three times. A Hula Bowl participant and a third-round draft choice of the Washington Redskins in 1956, he played one season with that club and one season with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts. Wyant also had one successful season of Mountaineer baseball, playing first base and batting .406.
Following his playing days, Wyant worked as a high school and small college football referee for three years, then as a major college football referee for five years, before becoming an official in the National Football League, where he served for 27 years. One of the most memorable contests Wyant officiated was the 1981 divisional playoff game between Miami and San Diego, a game won by the Chargers, 41-38 in overtime.
In addition to his officiating duties, Wyant has been in the insurance business for the past 37 years. He has also written 11 books on happiness in parenting, and has traveled the country giving lectures on that subject. He spent two seasons doing color commentary on WVU football broadcasts with current ESPN personality Tom Mees.
Wyant and his wife of 42 years, Dolores, reside in Morgantown. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.