December 22, 2014

Paul Chryst named new Wisconsin football coach

Paul Chryst

Paul Chryst

Madison native Paul Chryst returned to the city where he grew up, played his college football and eventually served as an assistant coach, before being hired by the University of Wisconsin to take over the head coaching job today.

Before spending the last three seasons as head coach at Pittsburgh, where he led the Panthers to three consecutive bowl appearances, Chryst oversaw the most explosive offenses in Wisconsin history.  During his last two seasons as UW’s offensive coordinator (2010 and 2011), the Badgers set a multitude of school and Big Ten records.

With current Green Bay Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien at the helm in 2010, UW averaged more than 40.0 points a game for the first time in school history, ranking fifth in the country with 41.5 points a game.  On their way to their first Big Ten title since 1999, the Badgers scored at least 70 points three times.  As a team, Wisconsin set a Big Ten record with a .732 completion percentage while also tying the conference record for rushing touchdowns (48).

Chryst was also the offensive coordinator during Russell Wilson’s only season in Madison.  Wilson set the FBS record for pass efficiency (191.8) while setting school records for passing yards (3,175) and passing touchdowns (33 – second-most in Big Ten history).

Junior running back Montee Ball also tied Barry Sanders’ single-season record with 39 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,923 yards.

During his three seasons in Pittsburgh, the Panthers improved from 83rd in the country in scoring offense (24.3 ppg) the year before he arrived to 47th (31.7 ppg.) this season.  He helped stabilize a program that had five different acting head coaches in a span of 12 months.  Chryst led the Panthers to a 19-19 overall record and three straight bowl appearances.

(We’ll have audio from Paul Chryst, Barry Alvarez and a pair of former players shortly).

Alvarez issues statement on coaching search

Barry Alvarez

Barry Alvarez

Reports surfaced last night, saying Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has decided on former Badger coach Paul Chryst as Gary Andersen’s replacement in Madison.

Today, Alvarez issued a statement saying, “We are continuing the process of finding our new head football coach.  We have not offered the position to anyone.  In accordance with University of Wisconsin hiring policies, the earliest we could make an offer to a candidate is Wednesday, Dec. 17.  Any accepted offer would be contingent upon approval by the UW System Board of Regents.”

That statement was expected, but it doesn’t change anything.  Chryst appears to be the choice as Wisconsin’s next coach, but nothing can be made official until the application deadline passes.

Alvarez indicated during a press conference on Wednesday that he wanted to have Andersen’s replacement in the fold before the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl game in Tampa between Wisconsin and Auburn.  Alvarez is stepping up to coach the Badgers in that game.


Report: Chryst poised to return to Wisconsin as head coach

Paul Chryst

Paul Chryst

According to a report by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Jeff Potrykus, Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez  has put in motion, Paul Chryst’s return to Madison to replace Gary Andersen as Wisconsin’s new head football coach.

The story cited a source close to the UW program as saying Chryst is poised to return to his alma mater.

The 49-year-old Chryst is a native of Madison and played at Wisconsin from 1986-’88.  He went on to coach tightends in 2002, then later served under Bret Bielema as Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator.  He is in his third season at Pittsburgh where he has an overall record of 19-19.

Barry Alvarez had said he wanted to have a replacement on board by January 1st.

There is a job posting period that will have to run its course before the school can make any hire official, but it would appear that Barry Alvarez’ search started and ended with Paul Chryst.

Alvarez to coach Badgers in Outback Bowl

Barry Alvarez

Barry Alvarez

Barry Alvarez will return to the sidelines one more time.  The University of Wisconsin Athletic Director announced today that he will assume head coaching duties for the Wisconsin football team as it prepares for its Outback Bowl matchup with Auburn on New Years Day in Tampa, Florida.

Gary Andersen announced yesterday that he is stepping down and taking the head coaching job at Oregon State.

This is the second time Alvarez has returned to coach the Badgers.  He also coached UW in the 2013 Rose Bowl when the Badgers fell to Stanford 20-14.

The last time Wisconsin and Auburn met was the 2006 Capital One Bowl, Alvarez’s final game on the sidelines after announcing his retirement from coaching.  The Badgers were 10-point underdogs on that day but defeated Auburn 24-10.

AUDIO: Barry Alvarez on coaching the team in the Outback Bowl :09

Andersen leaves Wisconsin after just two years on the job (Video)

Barry Alvarez press conference

Barry Alvarez press conference

For just the second time in the last three years, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez will spend the holiday season looking for a new head football coach.  He must also consider whether he’ll accept the seniors invitation to coach the Badgers in the New Years Day Outback Bowl after Gary Andersen said he’s leaving Wisconsin after just two seasons on the job.

Andersen has accepted the head coaching position at Oregon State, replacing Mike Riley who left the school to take over at Nebraska.  Oregon State plans to introduce Andersen at a news conference on Friday.  Anderson told Alvarez he was leaving Madison for family reasons.

Alvarez certainly didn’t see this coming.  But what’s somewhat concerning is that Wisconsin has all of a sudden become a stepping stone job.  Alvarez will be looking to change that with his next coaching hire.

The Wisconsin athletic director said he wants to find a new coach with head coaching experience.  He said it has to be a good fit for Wisconsin and Badger nation is hopeful the next coach will be somebody that wants to stick around for a while. [Read more…]