Local
6:55 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Pitt Pegs Wisconsin's Chryst as New Football Coach

Dressed all in blue and gold, Paul Chryst accepted the University of Pittsburgh's offer to become its second head football coach in as many years on Thursday.

Chryst comes to Pitt directly from Wisconsin University, where he's had success as the Badgers' offensive coordinator since 2006. He replaces Todd Graham, who controversially left the Panthers for Arizona State after just one season in Pittsburgh.

Chryst said that he's excited to meet Pitt's players and staff.

"There's guys that like football," said Chryst, "and guys that like football, they'll have a great experience, and you know what you do? You roll up your sleeves and go to work."

The new coach said that he's not going to try to fit his team into a predetermined mold, but rather focus on each player's strengths in order to succeed. Chryst said that he'd talk with current Pitt staff to see which employees are a good fit for his program.

Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson touted Chryst's work with Wisconsin, where the Badgers have won back-to-back Big Ten Conference championships. To Chryst's credit, Wisconsin notched an 11-2 record and scored an average of 44.6 points per game this season. Comparatively, Pitt scored an average of 25.8 points per game in the 2011 season, achieving just a 6-6 record.

A former Wisconsin player as well, Chryst said that he and his family are excited to move to Pittsburgh, along with several members of his Wisconsin staff.

"It's a great city," said Chryst. "I've had some guys go online and check it out, and [they said], 'Hey, do you know it's the number one city in America?' I was glad to hear that, because that helps sell some wives, you know?"

In addition to his work with Wisconsin, Chryst has coached with several other colleges, including Illinois State and Oregon State. He also oversaw the tight ends of the San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001.