Chryst in April 2015
November 17, 1965|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1989–1990||West Virginia (GA)|
|1991–1992||San Antonio Riders (WR/RB/TE)|
|1994||Ottawa Rough Riders (QB)|
|1995||Illinois State (OC/QB)|
|1996||Saskatchewan Roughriders (OC/QB)|
|1997–1998||Oregon State (OC/QB)|
|1999–2001||San Diego Chargers (TE)|
|2003–2004||Oregon State (OC/QB)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|2x Big Ten West Division (2016, 2017)|
|2× Big Ten Coach of the Year (2016, 2017)|
Paul Joseph Chryst (born November 17, 1965) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach for the Wisconsin Badgers. Chryst had previously been the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, from 2012 to 2014. Prior to serving as head coach, Chryst had previously been the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin from 2005 through 2011. He also served in the same capacity at Oregon State University and was an assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. Chryst played college football at Wisconsin, where he lettered as a quarterback from 1986 to 1988.
The son of a high school football coach, Chryst was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. The family moved to Platteville, Wisconsin, when his father, the late George Chryst, became the head football coach at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville in 1979.
Chryst attended Platteville High School, where he was a three-time letterman in football and basketball, and also lettered in baseball and track. As the starting quarterback, he led the 1982 and 1983 Hillmen to consecutive Southern Eight Conference titles and the Wisconsin Division 4 state championship in 1983.
Chryst graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1988 with a degree in political science, and was a three-time football letterwinner at the quarterback position for the Badgers. He added a master's degree in educational administration from West Virginia in 1990.
Paul Chryst started his career as a graduate assistant at West Virginia (1989–90), and was then an assistant coach for the World League’s San Antonio Riders (1991–92), UW–Platteville (1993), Ottawa Rough Riders (1994), Illinois State (1995), Saskatchewan Roughriders (1996), and Oregon State (1997–98).
He was the tight ends coach for the NFL's San Diego Chargers from 1999–01, where he was instrumental in the development of Freddie Jones into one of the NFL’s top tight ends, as well as coaching Steve Heiden, who eventually started with the Cleveland Browns.
Chryst was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oregon State in 2003–04. The Beavers ranked 10th nationally in total offense (463.0 ypg) and 6th nationally in passing yardage per game (328.1) in 2003. The 2003 Beavers became the first team in NCAA Division I history with a 4,000-yard passer, 1,500-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers. Among the Oregon State stars he coached were RB Ken Simonton, the school’s career rushing leader, QB Derek Anderson, who left as the Pac-10’s No. 2 career passing leader, and RB Steven Jackson, a 2004 first-round draft choice for the St. Louis Rams.
After a one-year stint as the Badgers’ tight ends coach in 2002, Chryst returned to Wisconsin in 2005 and under his direction, the Wisconsin offense showed immediate and drastic improvement. The 2005 team set school records for both scoring average (34.3 ppg) and for points scored in a season (446). UW scored at least 40 points six times in 2005. After ending the 2005 season with a 10–3 record, the 2006 offense was again potent under Chryst, and helped the team to a strong 12–1 finish. Chryst's strong offenses helped guide Wisconsin to back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances in 2010 and 2011. Chryst was a 2011 finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top college football assistant coach.
University of Pittsburgh
Chryst was hired as the head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh on December 22, 2011. Chryst had a record of 19-19 before being offered the Head Coaching position at Wisconsin. He won the Little Caesar's Bowl during the 2013 season.
University of Wisconsin
In Chryst's first season the Badgers went 10–3 and finished 1st nationally in scoring defense (13.7 points per game) and 2nd in total defense (268.5 yards per game). All three losses came to teams that were in the AP top 25 at the end of the season, eventual national champions #1 Alabama, #9 Iowa and #23 Northwestern. Chryst also won the Holiday Bowl against USC, whom the Badgers had a 0-6 record against before the game, with their last meeting being the 1963 Rose Bowl.
In the Badgers debut game of the 2016 season the unranked Badgers upset #5 ranked LSU at Lambeau Field. Chryst was named the "Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week" for his efforts. Following the opening week of college football when the new AP Poll was released the Badgers were ranked #10, the highest the Badgers had been ranked since the 2011 season where Chryst was the offensive coordinator for the Russell Wilson led Wisconsin team. On November 29, 2016, Chryst was named the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year in the Big Ten Conference.
Despite the Badgers 12-1 record, Wisconsin was held out of the College Football Playoff. However, they did go on to beat the Miami in the 2018 Orange Bowl.
Chryst and his wife, Robin, have three children, daughters Katy and JoJo, and son Danny. He is the brother of former Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst and former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Geep Chryst. His nephew Keller Chryst is a quarterback at Tennessee.
Head coaching record
|Pittsburgh Panthers (Big East Conference) (2012)|
|2012||Pittsburgh||6–7||3–4||5th||L BBVA Compass|
|Pittsburgh Panthers (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2013–2014)|
|2013||Pittsburgh||7–6||3–5||6th (Coastal)||W Little Caesars Pizza|
|2014||Pittsburgh||6–6||4–4||T–3rd (Coastal)||Armed Forces*|
|Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten Conference) (2015–present)|
|2015||Wisconsin||10–3||6–2||T–2nd (West)||W Holiday||21||21|
|2016||Wisconsin||11–3||7–2||1st (West)||W Cotton†||9||9|
|2017||Wisconsin||13–1||9–0||1st (West)||W Orange†||6||7|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
*Chryst left for Wisconsin after the regular season; Joe Rudolph coached the Panthers to a 34–35 loss to Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl.
Assistant coaches under Paul Chryst who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:
- Directory search result: Paul Joseph Chryst. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Accessed November 12, 2016.
- "George Chryst, Football Coach At UW-Platteville". Chicago Tribune. December 7, 1992. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- Rezell, John (November 13, 1983). "Platteville captures state football title". Telegraph Herald. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- "Report: Paul Chryst set to return to UW as Badgers head coach". WISC-TV. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- "2016 Big Ten Individual Award Winners" (PDF). www.grfx.cstv.com. Big Ten Conference. Retrieved November 30, 2016.