Beloved Titans Tight End And Broadcaster Frank Wycheck Dead At 52

Frank Wycheck, a beloved everyman tight end for the Oilers and Titans who went on to broadcast for Titans Radio and a successful Nashville morning show, passed away in the Chattanooga area Saturday, his family said.

He was 52.

A statement from the family: "At this time, it appears Frank Wycheck fell inside his Chattanooga, TN home and hit his head on Saturday morning. He was found unresponsive that afternoon. Wycheck moved to Chattanooga,TN this past summer to be closer to his family. He leaves behind two adult daughters, Deanna and Madison, both married, and three grandchildren - Leo, Stevie and August." 

89 Frank Wycheck, TE (How many Titans have worn the number: 8) Here, Tennessee Titans tight end Wycheck (89) sits on the sideline late in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Alltell Stadium Dec. 22, 2002 in Jacksonville, Fla. Titans V Jaguars
Frank Wycheck/ © George Walker IV / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Wycheck moved back to the Philadelphia area where he grew up around 2019 and worked at his alma mater, Archbishop Ryan before relocating to Chattanooga.

Frank John Wycheck was a sixth-round pick out of Maryland in the 1993 draft and after two shaky seasons, he was a $100 waiver claim by the Oilers in 1995.

He went on to play 137 games for the Oilers and Titans, catching 482 passes for 4,958 yards and 27 touchdowns, earning trips to the Pro Bowl in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

He went from a newspaper crack about how fans didn't know Wycheck from Wynonna to seeing Wynonna Judd clad in his jersey while singing the national anthem

At Adelphia Coliseum on Jan. 8, 2000, Wycheck played a key role in one of the most famous plays in NFL history, during a wild-card round playoff game.

With 16 seconds remaining, he took a handoff from Lorenzo Neal following a squib kick and threw a cross-field lateral on a last-second, last-ditch trick play called home run throwback, finding Kevin Dyson who sprinted up the left side for a 75-yard touchdown with 16 seconds left to beat the Buffalo Bills  22-16.

“It’s do or die, all or nothing,” Wycheck said not long after the play in the Titans’ locker room. "You’re just trying to make a play, hoping what you’ve practiced will work.”

The first era of the Titans, the group that endured the move to Tennessee, the commute to Memphis in 1997, the season at Vanderbilt in 1998 and finally the name change and move into Adelphia Coliseum and the Super Bowl run in 1999 was centered around Eddie George, Steve McNair and Wycheck on offense.

And George and McNair raved about Wycheck's role in it.

"I think he's the best tight end in the NFL right now," Eddie George said after the Music City Miracle. "...He's bailed us out of a lot of crucial situations in big games. This past week you can see what he did. He's a special player for us. I guess you could say he's a magic piece or something."

Said McNair: "Frank was a guy who always came back to the huddle saying, 'I'm going to work for you, if you're in any trouble look for me.' And somehow he was the guy I always went to when I was in a clutch situation."

After he retired in 2004 things were not always easy.

During his time as the color analyst for Titans Radio with Mike Keith from 2005-2016 and 104.5 The Zone's "The Wake Up Zone" with Mark Howard and Kevin Ingram from 2004 to 2017 Wycheck came to talk openly about his fears about the ultimate effects of football concussions on his life. He also dealt with some significant back issues and social anxiety.

"It's almost like there is a brick wall before you go out the door," he said.

Per his wishes, his family plans to work with experts for on-going brain injury (TBI) and CTE research. 

Frank WycheckHe appeared at the franchise's new uniform unveiling on April 4, 2018. 

"I've committed to getting away, just doing some things for myself, just for mind, body and soul," he told me there. "And I'm a lot better for it. ..I feel great, I really do, getting back in the gym and getting a little taste of that again was huge for me."

In blue-collar Northeast Philadelphia where he grew up, his father's friends coached him and his friends in Our Lady of Calvary Athletic Association and talked with the boys about applying lessons learned on the football field to life. 

"I am just a regular guy," Wycheck told me for a story in The Tennessean. "It must have come from my parents and the people I was around growing up. They always kept you on the ground, never let you get cocky. And I've never gone away from that."

Plans for funeral services have not yet been made.

The Wycheck family appreciates the love and support they’ve received but asks the public to please respect their privacy during this difficult time.

All media requests to Tresa Halbrooks at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Here's a podcast I did with Wycheck on Oct. 24, 2019.

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