December 22, 2011

Okay, in case there was any question that there might be a last minute change. Pitt has put out the press release announcing Chryst has been hired.


Here’s the link:

Paul Chryst Named New Head Football Coach at the University of Pittsburgh
Paul Chryst, the highly accomplished offensive coordinator of the Rose Bowl-bound Wisconsin Badgers, has been named the new head football coach at Pitt.

Dec. 22, 2011

PITTSBURGH– Paul Chryst, the highly accomplished offensive coordinator of the Rose Bowl-bound Wisconsin Badgers, has been named the new head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh by Athletic Director Steve Pederson. Chryst’s formal introduction will take place at a 3 p.m. press conference today at the Panthers’ practice facility.

The 46-year-old Chryst takes over at Pitt following an exceptional eight-year tenure at Wisconsin (2002, 2005-11) where he gained acclaim as one of college football’s finest offensive teachers and strategists. The Badgers have compiled a 60-18 record (.769) during his six seasons overseeing the offense, which annually ranks among the nation’s most prolific and efficient units.

In 2011, Chryst helped Wisconsin to an 11-2 record and its second consecutive Big Ten title and Rose Bowl berth. The Badgers are averaging 44.6 points and 466.9 yards per game entering their Pasadena showdown with Oregon on January 2.

Over the past three seasons (2009-11), Wisconsin boasts the Big Ten’s best record (32-7, .821) while being fueled by an offense that has averaged 39.3 points per game during that span. Chryst, who also coaches quarterbacks, has been named a finalist for the prestigious Broyles Award, annually presented to college football’s top assistant, each of the past two seasons.

His 23-year coaching career includes 16 seasons on the collegiate level and seven years in the professional ranks.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Coach Chryst and his family to Pittsburgh,” Pederson said. “His remarkable success at Wisconsin is well documented in the form of Big Ten championships and All-America performances. But beyond his achievements on the football field, we believed it was important to find a leader who gets the very best from his players while also developing the kind of culture that fits the University of Pittsburgh. Paul Chryst is that leader and we are anxious for our players and fans to get to know him in the coming days and years.”

“My family and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to join the University of Pittsburgh,” Chryst said. “Pitt and Pittsburgh are absolutely the right fit for us, and we’re looking forward to getting immersed in our new hometown. We are committed to building a program on and off the field that will make people proud. The bar is set high in the `City of Champions’ and that is incredibly exciting and inspiring. I can’t wait to meet our players and get to work.”

Chryst’s 2011 Wisconsin offense features two of the country’s most explosive performers – running back Montee Ball and quarterback Russell Wilson. Ball, a first team All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist, leads the nation in total rushing yards (1,759) and scoring (38 touchdowns, 17.54 points/game). He is one touchdown shy of the NCAA record of 39 set by Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders in 1988. Ball has scored at least two touchdowns in every game this season, including four TDs in a 42-39 win over Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game.

Wilson, who transferred from N.C. State to Wisconsin for his final season of eligibility, is second nationally in pass efficiency with a staggering 191.60 rating (trailing only Baylor Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III’s 192.31 rating). Despite not arriving at Wisconsin until July, Wilson was seamlessly adapted into the Badgers’ offensive attack and has completed 73% of his passes for 2,879 yards with 31 touchdowns against only three interceptions. He was named the inaugural winner of the Big Ten’s “Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year” award.

The 2011 Badgers offense produced three first team All-Americans (Montee Ball, center Peter Konz and guard Kevin Zeitler). Since 2006, Wisconsin offensive players have earned nine first-team All-America citations. Three of Chryst’s offensive pupils have won national awards, including a pair of Outland Trophy winners (tackles Joe Thomas in 2006 and Gabe Carimi in 2010) and a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner (quarterback Scott Tolzien in 2010).

Wisconsin’s offense also enjoyed a record-setting year in 2010. The Badgers ranked fifth nationally in scoring at 41.5 points per game, demolishing the school record by more than a touchdown per contest. In Big Ten play, Wisconsin averaged 45.2 points in eight league games, the second-best average in Big Ten history. Prior to 2010, Wisconsin had not scored 70 points in a game since 1915. The Badgers did it in three different games during the `10 campaign.

Also in 2010, Wisconsin nearly became the first team in FBS history to have three different players rush for at least 1,000 yards in the same season (James White, 1,052 yards; John Clay, 1,012; Montee Ball, 996). The Badgers tied a Big Ten record with 48 rushing TDs. The potent rushing attack was balanced by a laser-accurate passing game as Scott Tolzien set the Big Ten single-season record for completion percentage (73.3% in eight league games) and finished sixth in the country in pass efficiency (165.92 rating).

The 11-2 Badgers finished the 2010 season ranked in the nation’s top 10 in scoring offense, pass efficiency, fewest turnovers lost, third-down conversions, fourth-down conversions, red zone offense, time of possession and fewest penalties per game.

Chryst was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oregon State during the 2003 and `04 seasons. The 2003 Beavers became the first team in NCAA Division I history to have a 4,000-yard passer, 1,500-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers. Chryst’s Oregon State pupils included running back Ken Simonton, the school’s career rushing leader, quarterback Derek Anderson, who left as the Pac 10’s No. 2 career passing leader, and running back Steven Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowler for the St. Louis Rams who has the NFL’s longest active streak with six consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Chryst initially came to Wisconsin in 2002 after a three-year stint in the NFL as tight ends coach with the San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001.

Previously, Chryst held collegiate assistant coaching positions at Oregon State (1997-98), Illinois State (1995) and UW-Platteville (1993). He was also a graduate assistant under Don Nehlen at West Virginia (1989-90). Chryst’s other coaching posts in professional football included time with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders (1996) and Ottawa Rough Riders (1994), as well as the World League’s San Antonio Riders (1991-92).

Chryst was a three-year football letterman at Wisconsin, where he earned a degree in political science in 1988. He added a master’s degree in educational administration from West Virginia in 1990. Paul’s brother Rick was commissioner of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) for 10 years. Another brother, Geep, is the quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers. Paul’s late father George was a longtime head coach at UW-Platteville and a former Badger player and assistant coach.

Chryst and his wife Robin have two daughters, Katy (18) and JoJo (16), and one son, Danny (14).

Chryst’s Coaching Chronology:


West Virginia (1989-90), graduate assistant

UW-Platteville (1993), offensive coordinator & quarterbacks

Illinois State (1995), offensive coordinator & quarterbacks

Oregon State (1997-98), offensive coordinator & quarterbacks

Wisconsin (2002), tight ends

Oregon State (2003-04), offensive coordinator & quarterbacks

Wisconsin (2005), co-offensive coordinator & tight ends

Wisconsin (2006-present), offensive coordinator & quarterbacks


San Antonio Riders (1991-92), wide receivers, running backs, tight ends (World League of American Football)

Ottawa Rough Riders (1994), quarterbacks (Canadian Football League)

Saskatchewan Roughriders (1996), offensive coordinator & quarterbacks (Canadian Football League)

San Diego Chargers (1999-2001), tight ends (National Football League)

Chryst Career Bowl Games
1989 Gator (West Virginia)

2002 Alamo (Wisconsin)

2003 Las Vegas (Oregon State)

2004 Insight (Oregon State)

2006 Capital One (Wisconsin)

2007 Capital One (Wisconsin)

2008 Outback (Wisconsin)

2008 Champs Sports (Wisconsin)

2009 Champs Sports (Wisconsin)

2011 Rose (Wisconsin)

2012 Rose (Wisconsin)

Wisconsin First Team All-Americans on Offense under Chryst (since 2006)
Tackle Joe Thomas# (2006)

Tight End Travis Beckum (2007)

Guard Kraig Urbik (2008)

Tackle Gabe Carimi# (2010)

Tight End Lance Kendricks* (2010)

Guard John Moffitt (2010)

Running Back Montee Ball (2011)

Center Pete Konz (2011)

Guard Kevin Zeitler (2011)

* Consensus
# Unanimous

Wisconsin Major Award Winners on Offense under Chryst (since 2006)
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation’s top senior quarterback)
Quarterback Scott Tolzien (2010)

Outland Trophy (nation’s outstanding college lineman)
Tackle Joe Thomas (2006)
Tackle Gabe Carimi (2010)

Wisconsin Big Ten Award Winners on Offense under Chryst (since 2006)
Big Ten Player of the Year
Running Back John Clay (2009)

Big Ten Lineman of the Year
Tackle Gabe Carimi (2010)

Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year
Running Back Montee Ball (2011)

Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year
Running Back Montee Ball (2011)

Griese-Brees Big Ten Quarterback of the Year
Quarterback Russell Wilson (2011)

Agree with you Spindler. Anderson’s only other offer was from Bryant University. He got to be on an AQ conference roster and learn a lot more than he ever would have learned in Rhode Island. He also knew when he arrived that Chad Voytik was on his way in. With all the graduate and JUCO transfers that were lining up, he was probably SOL regardless of what happened.

In a random stroke of irony, I’m going to a University of Arizona hoops game tonight against Bryant University.

I feel a lot better than I thought I would about the hire. Was on the experienced HC bandwagon, but the floodgates are open on the accolades of Chryst.

Comment by cnorwoodaz 12.22.11 @ 2:51 pm

@ EMel, your post at 12:28 was spot-on!

Well said!!

Comment by Steelfan 12.22.11 @ 2:53 pm

Big Bill—couldn’t agree more than just what Street tweeted….this is a great hire! People at OSU (the one in Oregon, that is) love this guy, and still miss him.

Hail to PITT!

Comment by Oregon_Panther 12.22.11 @ 2:54 pm

Qoipscript like thoes thoughts and bet you are right abought holtz

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.22.11 @ 3:07 pm

lets hope we get the O linemen for a run first offense….

Comment by velvil 12.22.11 @ 3:09 pm

first thing he did was introduce his mom, brother and wife and 3 kids who all accompanied him .. already I like his hiring presser better than the previous coach.

Comment by wbb 12.22.11 @ 3:17 pm

Wow. Chryst is REALLY humble. I can now understand why people were saying he was “underwhelming”. I am officially drinking the kool-aid on this guy. He sounds really nice and like a really genuine guy.

Comment by yeahimajerk 12.22.11 @ 3:19 pm

…also he is actually funny. He rambles and bit and you can tell he is kinda-sorta “salt of the earth” but I actually LOLed while listening to this presser at work.

Comment by yeahimajerk 12.22.11 @ 3:23 pm

Dan Bossdaws EMel big bill outlaw and all my outher brothers who post on here have amerry xmas
may god walk with you and keep you all safe.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.22.11 @ 3:28 pm

SOUNDS like a good hire. Willing to give the guy a chance to get his program in place. NOT willing to give Smiley much more time. Let’s make January a great month and FIRE STEVE.

Comment by 13-9 12.22.11 @ 3:29 pm

Funny guy, brutally honest, humble, can feel the character in his voice. Solid hire.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.22.11 @ 3:34 pm

Whoa, I think he gets “it!” He really gets “it!” Unlike skum-bag!!!

Comment by QuipScript 12.22.11 @ 3:38 pm

Great presser. He has me fired up to play

Comment by bdubb 12.22.11 @ 3:39 pm

Ugh. I hate the media asking, “Is there a benefit to having the Steelers next store?” PITT FOOTBALL IS NOT THE STEELERS. ASDFJASL;FJKSADL;KFJASDLJFLSAVNSAL;JFLSJF

Comment by yeahimajerk 12.22.11 @ 3:39 pm

Solid humble mid-western guy. Breath of fresh air after a blowhard Texan. HTP!

Comment by San Diego Panther 69 12.22.11 @ 3:40 pm

Pitt’s football program is (finally) in good hands. Paul fits in well with the folks from Pittsburgh. I wish him and Pitt much success.

My best friend is an Oregon letter winner but I’m rooting for Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 12.22.11 @ 3:41 pm

I am happy with the hire. I am sure Barry Alvarez, being a Burgettstown native, made sure Chryst knows what kind of place Pittsburgh is. Notice that Chryst ran very productive offenses at Wisconsin without resorting to a gimmick offensive scheme like the run and shoot or the spread.

Look, if Chryst is successful in three to five years, somebody in the Numerically Challenged Conference – or Notre Dame – will offer him a job. So be it. Chryst’s job is to re-establish Pitt football as a force and I think he is up to the job. Time will tell.

For those who observe it, a Merry Christmas to yunz and your families and Happy New Year. Our family is celebrating the recent birth of our baby son. May your families be as joyous this Yuletide season.

Comment by Penguins Fan 12.22.11 @ 3:52 pm

Good hire. I loved his reference to a destination job. Chryst said why would waste your life going to a job that isn’t a destination job. I consider this a destination job. Wish he had said that a year ago we all could have saved ayear of our lives as fans stuck with an A## of a coach.

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 12.22.11 @ 3:57 pm

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a prosperous 2012 to all Pitt alumni and fans. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 12.22.11 @ 3:58 pm

The media is horrible….how about, what kind of D will you play? The questions sucked.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.22.11 @ 3:58 pm

Penquins fans, Congrats, and Merry Chrystmas and Merry Chrystening

Alright .. I’m sorry

Comment by wbb 12.22.11 @ 4:00 pm

any clues from the presser on who his staff may be? is he coming to pitt ASAP or after the rose bowl?

Comment by dish 12.22.11 @ 4:02 pm

@dish, no clues about staff, and he IS coaching in the Rose Bowl. The right choice, in my opinion.

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.22.11 @ 4:06 pm

One thing tha western PA still produces is good offensive lineman. Offensive linemen love to run block. One of my issues with the spred offence is that many of blue chip players, with NFL aspirations, would rather play in pro-style offences. Eventhough we will recruit players from Florida and other parts of the country, the majority will be from this region.

Comment by Justinian 12.22.11 @ 4:13 pm

He said that he has made some inquiries and has some commitments for his neww staff but of course mentioned no names.

Todd Orlando, coincidentally Cristobal’s current DC, was mentioned in P-G as a possible DC .. which would be a great-get.

He also has the Wisc TE coach who is Belle-Vernon native, and the Wisc o-line coach rated as one of the best … these 2 are in line to replace Chryst so maybe the other one will be hired as OC here.

With his resume, I’m sure he has made a lot of contacts

Comment by wbb 12.22.11 @ 4:23 pm

Here is the bio for Orlando at UConn before he joined FIU in January after Edsall left UConn .. note that he is a pGH native

link to

Comment by wbb 12.22.11 @ 4:28 pm

Paul Chryst is like many people I know from Wisconsin. They for the most part, are very good people, who if you were in battle, would want them sharing the foxhole with you.

They aren’t going to talk too much of what they’re going to do, they just do.

That should play well in Pittsburgh. Let’s hope.

Comment by EMel 12.22.11 @ 4:28 pm

I loved the press conference and chryst’s wry sense of humor.

I would have taken either coach but have to say I was hoping PITT would go for the less-splashy choice and they did.

I’ll bet he is a great coach for us in all the right ways, on and off the field.

Comment by Reed 12.22.11 @ 4:36 pm

EMel, I have had the same experience with Wisconsiner’s, now that I think about it(Quite literally, as you put it), looking back at my military career. Good people from Wisconsin.

In case I forget, or don’t get around to posting again by Sunday, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to everyone.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.22.11 @ 4:41 pm

Reed, my sentiments as well. Even though they wanted little splash with this hire, I think they’re getting more than they wanted.

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.22.11 @ 4:43 pm

Pitt FINALLY got this right.

HTP and welcome Chryst!

Comment by Pitt Is IT 12.22.11 @ 4:52 pm

A good man

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.22.11 @ 4:57 pm

The presser was pretty good.

This guy seems like your typical solid Big Ten coach. With a little bit of flair in the best spot: on the scoreboard.

Comment by deepelemblues 12.22.11 @ 4:59 pm

Thank you Santa!

Comment by TX Panther 12.22.11 @ 5:13 pm

Intresting read….
link to

Comment by POLE 12.22.11 @ 5:22 pm

What a difference in personality between Fraud and Chryst. I have been struggling to come up with one word to describe Chryst and it hit me like a ton of bricks………GENUINE.
Chryst does not have prepared speeches or cute phrases. He is laid back and probably a great listener. I have the feeling that after the Haywood fiasco and Fraud’s gimmicks our team is going to get down to business and concentrate on the basics of smash mouth football.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Comment by isnore 12.22.11 @ 5:23 pm

To whomever asked if Chryst’s wife was attractive, imho, she is. Not on the scale of Mrs. Cristobal, but definitely an attractive lady for her mid 40s age.

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.22.11 @ 5:28 pm

Lotsa talk about Chryst being the safe pick. To refresh old memories, the exact same words were uttered when they promoted Foge Fazio to take over for Jackie Sherrill. And Pitt football hasn’t been the same since.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 12.22.11 @ 6:07 pm

He didn’t talk from laminated notes. That has to be a good sign!

Comment by dinosaur 71 12.22.11 @ 6:10 pm

Partridge all but denied coming to Pitt with Chryst in an interview on 93.7.

Comment by Digdug(Formerly Dugdog) 12.22.11 @ 6:11 pm

Back at you FRANKCAN on your Christmas wishes, and to all on the Blather. enjoying the posts and the ubiquitous optimism in Panther Land with what appears to be a solid hire. We deserve it. HTP

Comment by bossdaws 12.22.11 @ 6:13 pm

Reply to Pens fan, “Notice that Chryst ran very productive offenses at Wisconsin without resorting to a gimmick offensive scheme like the run and shoot or the spread.”

Sure, with Wisconsin’s OL you can run any offense you want.

Pitt doesn’t have that good of an OL, and hasn’t since the 1980s. So a pro-set offense works at Alabama and USC and Wisconsin, but won’t work at Pitt. Which is exactly why Wanny failed. Well, that plus his knucklehead QB.

Thus the spread is best for Pitt, and (yes God knows the man is flawed) Todd Graham is the first guy to realize this.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 12.22.11 @ 6:32 pm

Coach the Rose Bowl?? No worries, as long as you’ve spent the week before, firming up the major coaching positions needed for Pitt to hit the road running come 1/3/2012. I’m not at all happy if Chryst doesn’t have at least his DC, OC and both line coaches named and signed by News Years Eve. After that’s done, sure, go out to Pasadena for your coaching farewell with the U of W.

Chryst better also be in contact with all of our recruits and their families starting tomorrow making sure that everybody is getting their strokes and feeling warm and fuzzy about his hire, especially Shell and Voytik.

My attitude may not be politically correct but Chryst’s primary responsibility from this point forward is Pitt Football. This first week of transition is important to keep the ball rolling in the right direction with attention to these essential items detailed above. We pooch this recruiting class and Chryst starts off severely handicapped for the next couple of years.

Priority one, Pitt Football!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.22.11 @ 7:10 pm

Imma Man-I agree about the offensive styles. Pitt doesn’t have the OL to play “smash mouth football”. If they try they will get their mouths smashed. What I hope is that Chryst abapts to the personnel, runs some version of the spread. After some success in future years, he can recruit/develop some hogs to drive the ball down the field.

Comment by Houston Panther 12.22.11 @ 7:58 pm

news info for you coach chryst is looking at montana s jonathan smith has his QB coach . and they say he is trying to bring some one from his old school to be his OC.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.22.11 @ 8:16 pm

Houston, disagree about the OL. here’s what I commented in an earlier thread:

Seems like some fans are worried that Chryst won’t have the same big Offensive Lineman as he did in Wisconsin. We have our share also, the first five listed may well be our starters next year… They ain’t small.

75 Ryan Turnley 6-6/320 OL RS JR
64 Shane Johnson 6-5/325 OL RS FR
77 Zenel Demhasaj 6-7/330 OL JR
78 Cory King 6-6/325 OL RS SO
74 Matt Rotheram 6-6/350 OL RS FR

Comment by Reed 12.22.11 @ 9:25 pm

Has anyone seen any comments from Mark May on our new coach?

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 12.22.11 @ 10:05 pm

Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

Comment by Make Money Blogging 01.05.12 @ 6:59 pm

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