There has yet to be an actual confirmation from the University of Pittsburgh or the one in Wisconsin, but it seems that Paul Chryst, a former player, assistant and coordinator for the Badgers, will be their next head coach.
A source close to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the 49 year-old is going to be announced as the new head coach in Madison, replacing Gary Andersen who shocked everyone by taking the job of the vacant head coach position at Oregon State, making it a second consecutive head coach to leave Wisconsin to a program that at least on the surface doesn’t seem like an upgrade, following Bret Bielema going to Arkansas.
According to his current employer, the Pittsburgh Panthers football program, Chryst is still the head coach of Pittsburgh, is currently recruiting for the school and is preparing his players for their bowl game, the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth against Texas. However, Chryst has been mentioned as one of the leading contenders for the job since the news of Andersen leaving broke out. It’s only natural, despite Chryst not having the most impressive win-loss record.
Chryst played for Wisconsin in the 1980’s as quarterback. He began his movement up the coaching ladder soon after with different schools, but has two different stops at Madison: First in 2002 as a Tight End coach, followed by coming back in 2005 as the offensive coordinator, staying there until 2011, when he was hired by Pittsburgh to try and kickstart the program back into life. In three seasons with the Panthers he has a 19-19 record, going to a bowl game three times. Before his arrival Pittsburgh were more successful, but two of his seasons were in the ACC, not in the Big East.
Chryst is a Wisconsin man, as many universities love to hire, and has worked before under Barry Alvarez, the current Athletic Director and three-time Rose Bowl winner with Wisconsin during his coaching days for the school. It means that the prevalent style of smashmouth football and running the ball non stop, even though Melvin Gordon is going to the NFL, isn’t going to disappear. Unless they stumble upon someone like Russell Wilson to be their quarterback.
The question that will hover around Chryst or any other hire will be whether or not they’re successful, and can they stay on board for more than two seasons. Rumors suggest the inability to get substantial money towards the assistant pushed both Bielema and Andersen out. Chryst is a loyal Wisconsin man, but that didn’t stop Beielema from leaving as well.