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).