Many say Chryst’s connection to UW makes him obvious pick
Chryst attended Edgewood High School, played at UW
MADISON, Wis. — For many, Paul Chryst taking the reins for the Badgers football team is more like a welcome home.
He was born and raised in Madison, attended Edgewood High School and then Platteville High School when his family moved.
His father, George Chryst, also coached at Edgewood and University of Wisconsin – Platteville. Chryst later returned to Madison as a quarterback for the Badgers football team.
Those who remember the early days for Chryst said they’re more than happy to see him come home.
“It just kind of comes full circle. It was neat to see him have success elsewhere and as a coordinator, but now as the head coach he gets to call the shots and it’s a friend,” former UW quarterback Bud Keyes said.
Keyes competed for quarterback spot with Chryst during the mid-’80s, but when Gary Andersen stepped away from Wisconsin football last week, Keyes said there was no competition.
“The first thing that came to my mind is well, that’s got to be Paul’s job. He’s next in line,” Keyes said.
Pete Nowka was Chryst’s teammate and roommate in college. He has a vivid memory coming out of the Camp Randall tunnel freshman year.
“All of a sudden he came up to me. I was really stressed because it was crazy the amount of things you had to think about as a player, and Paul came up to me and said, ‘Have fun, just go out and have fun today.’ But he had that unique ability; I think he had a clarity to things,” Nowka said.
Oregon High School head coach Dan Kissling also played with Chryst.
“He was kind of that quiet guy and led by example,” Kissling said. “He was the guy that was in there before everybody else, when the lights were off he was in the meeting rooms last.”
Kissling and others said Chryst’s personality and his coaching capacity have always made him an obvious fit for the job.
“It would be great to have someone like Paul that’s been through it, that understands the tradition of Wisconsin football, to step into that role,” Nowka said.