Paul Chryst named new Badgers head football coach

Chryst will replace Gary Andersen

Paul Chryst has been named the Wisconsin Badgers new head football coach, replacing Gary Andersen.

The announcement was made Wednesday night at the Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion at the Kohl Center in Madison. 

Chryst delivered newspapers to Camp Randall Stadium as a kid sneaking onto the field to play around. He later played for the Badgers and then served as an assistant coach for eight seasons.

And for relaxation time, his family owns a cabin in northern Wisconsin.

Chryst’s excitement to come back home was easy to see as he’s named the 30th head coach in Badgers program history.

“The thing that I think was really unique about this whole job is that it’s so special. I mean I wasn’t looking to go anywhere and yet this was a place that I knew I wanted to talk with Coach (Alvarez) and explore,” Chryst said.

University of Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said, “I had a lot of choices and I’ve always said fit was very important. I don’t know where you can find a better fit and qualified person than Paul.”

After seeing two head coaches leave over the last two years, Chryst is somebody who sees Wisconsin as a destination job.

“When you talk about a destination job, I think you’ve got to earn the right to stay that long where people qualify it,” Chryst said. “There’s two great examples, Coach Alvarez and what Bo is doing right now with hoops, they’ve earned the right to make it a destination job and I sure hope to work to try to make it that.”

Chryst’s roots are similar to that other head coach on the UW campus. His first college coaching job came at UW-Platteville at the same time Bo Ryan was there, serving as offensive coordinator under his late-father George.

“You know it….yeah, I think he would be proud,” Chryst said. “That was one thing Bo, we talked about and he said, ‘What do you think George would say if he walked down the halls and said, ‘Bo is coaching the basketball team and you’re coaching the football team.’ You know it was pretty neat. But you think about him all the time.”

Coach Chryst showed emotion at his introductory press conference. He also showed that just coming back home isn’t enough.

“No, there is no pressure,” Chryst said with a laugh. “You shouldn’t ask me questions you know the answer to. I asked my mom that I said, ‘Mom, are you sure you want us back?'”

“As great a day as today is, and it is it’s a great day, I also don’t want it to be the best day.”

Many notable Badger football alums including J.J. Watt, Joe Thomas, and Russell Wilson have praised the hiring of Chryst. Former Badgers and current Packers Scott Tolzien and Jared Abbrederis also big fans of the move.

Andersen announced December 10 he was leaving Wisconsin tobecome the head football coach at Oregon State University. He was the head coach at Wisconsin for two years, and ended with a record of 19-7 overall and 13-3 in the Big Ten Conference.

At this time, Alvarez will coach the Badgers in the Outback Bowl.