Paul Chryst is returning home. The University of Wisconsin and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez is hoping he won’t have to hire another head coach during his time in Madison.
Alvarez targeted the former Badger assistant coach as his number-one choice to replace Gary Andersen, who left to take the head coaching job at Oregon State. When he contacted Chryst about the vacancy in Madison, it became pretty clear that Chryst would be returning to Madison.
Those that played for Chryst previously, know the Badgers are getting an excellent coach.
Quarterback Scott Tolzien, who is currently a backup in Green Bay with the Packers, said he doesn’t think he’d be in the NFL if not for Chryst’s work. The two spent five seasons in Madison together with Tolzien starting his final two seasons in Madison.
Tolzien believes the three years of head coaching experience in Pittsburgh will serve Chryst well in his return to the Badgers.
In his previous stint as offensive coordinator in Madison, Chryst worked with and developed his quarterbacks to reach higher levels. He also did a good job developing his receivers, especially the tight ends, many of which wound up with successful NFL careers.
Another former Badger in the Packers locker room, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis is excited about Wisconsin’s newest coaching hire. Abbrederis played for Chryst during his first two seasons in Madison.
Abbrederis believes Chryst’s background will serve him well at Wisconsin.
“Obviously, he grew up in Wisconsin, he went to Wisconsin, he’s been there before, he knows the type of guys that Wisconsin likes to bring in,” Abbrederis said. “And just his character. He’s a guy that you can respect, you want to learn from, you want to play well for. I think he’s a perfect fit.”
Chryst developed a loyalty from his offensive players and it spread throughout the locker room. Now as the head coach, Chryst will have to develop that trust with the defensive side of the ball as well. Both Tolzien and Abbrederis say if that happens, they anticipate Chryst being highly successful in Madison for a long time to come.