Chryst returns? His old teachers hope so
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Is Chryst returning? The University of Wisconsin may not confirm it quite yet, but to those who watched Paul grow up, there’s no doubt.
As reports say Paul Chryst will take the helm as head coach for the Badgers, teachers back at his old stomping grounds at Platteville High School reminisce about the sports star they used to know.
“I knew he was going to be a football coach,” says Rob Serres, who first started teaching at Platteville when Chryst was in school. “Paul’s a leader. He’s just one of those kids that always had the leadership qualities, carried down from his family and his father.”
The son of UW-Platteville coach George Chryst, Paul has his roots in teaching others.
“You could tell that Paul was going to carry that legacy on,” Serres says.
It’s been years since his old teachers have seen Paul, 30 since they’ve coached him – but they’ll all agree he’s not a student that fades from mind.
“A kid that you remember,” says Clay Shaffer, another teacher of Paul’s. “You remember the way he conducted himself in the classroom. Other kids would look up to Paul.”
“He brought the best out in everyone, no matter what sport he was participating in,” said Wally Trouten, an assistant football coach for Paul’s high school team.
Paul lettered in basketball, as well as football, baseball and track, taking each team far. In 1983, he led the Hillmen to the Division Four state championship, playing quarterback.
“When you have a leader like Paul Chryst in there, I think what you see is kids really working together well and thriving off of becoming better athletes and better people,” Serres says.
“Paul was a class act, even as a student, [he was a] class act as a ball player, and we’ve seen that’s continued for him all the way along,” says Trouten. “He still is a class act.”
They’re proud of his past, but the people who watched Paul grow up are just as proud for what his future may hold.
“We have a great mural of all the greats down on our Main Street,” Serres says. “It’d be neat to see Paul Chryst on that wall.”