Paul Chryst Named Pitt’s New Head Football Coach

Issue Date: 
January 9, 2012

Paul Chryst, the acclaimed offensive coordinator of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers, has been named the new head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh by Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson.

The 46-year-old Chryst takes over at Pitt following an eight-year tenure at Wisconsin (2002, 2005-11) during which he won praise as one of college football’s finest offensive teachers and strategists. The Badgers 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 earn an 11-2 record, its second consecutive Big Ten title, and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

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

Chryst’s 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 considering 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 initially came to the University of Wisconsin in 2002 after a three-year stint (1999-2001) in the NFL as tight ends coach with the San Diego Chargers.

Chryst was a three-year football letterman at Wisconsin, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science in 1988. He added a master’s degree in educational administration from West Virginia University in 1990.