UW officially announces Paul Chryst as new head football coach

Successor to Gary Andersen announced at Wednesday news conference
UW officially announces Paul Chryst as new head football coach

Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez announced Wednesday that former Wisconsin football player and assistant coach Paul Chryst has been hired as the team’s head coach.

Chryst landed in Madison on Tuesday and reportedly met with the University of Wisconsin chancellor. The UW Board of Regents held a closed meeting via phone Wednesday to consider compensation and other terms of employment for the head coach position.

Chryst is 19-19 in three seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers and spoke Monday in Fort Worth, where Pitt will play Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2.

Alvarez said the school had to wait until Wednesday at the earliest before naming a successor to Gary Andersen, who left after two seasons to coach at Oregon State.

The Badgers had also reportedly spoken to former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano about the job.

By accepting the head coach position, Chryst will be returning to his hometown, alma mater and former employer. Chryst was offensive coordinator at Wisconsin from 2005-11.

Chryst got emotional at the news conference Wednesday when asked what his late father George, a legend in his own right, would think if he saw his son walking the sidelines at Camp Randall.

“I think he’d be proud. Bo (Ryan) said, ‘What do you think George would say if he walked down the halls and saw Bo’s coaching the basketball team and you’re coaching the football team?’ It was pretty neat. You think about him all the time,” Chryst said.

Chryst said he’ll start talking to coaches Thursday about becoming potential assistant coaches.

The Badgers practiced Tuesday morning in preparation for the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 against Auburn, with Alvarez overseeing the team. The former coach is returning to the sideline temporarily for the bowl game, just as he did two years ago in the transition period between Bret Bielema and Andersen.

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