22 December 2011
dé·jà vu -- noun -- \ˌdā-ˌzhä-ˈvü, -ˈvue\
a feeling that one has seen or heard something before
Doesn't it just feel like we've done this before (here and here)? Regardless, it looks like we're going to do it again with the naming of Paul Chryst as Pitt's next head coach, the fourth since the beginning of December 2010. Let's take a look at the new man in charge, shall we?
Paul Chryst has been described as a quiet, laid back quy. Current (former Pitt TE Brock DeCicco) and former Wisconsin players (current Pitt RB Zach Brown) also informed Pitt WR Devin Street that Chryst is also a "players coach, a cool guy, and a great coach". That's a good start. He has also shown the ability to develop quarterbacks and adapt his offense to meet the talent on his team (see Wilson, Russell). I know one Pitt quarterback who will be happy to hear that.
Chryst is also a Wisconsin man. Born in Madison, attended and played quarterback for the University of Wisconsin, and coached the Badgers for eight years, including the last seven. But that is about to change, because by the end of the week, he will be standing behind a podium on the South Side wearing a blue and gold tie. I hear that Todd Graham and Mike Haywood left several of them, so he probably won't even need to buy his own.
Throughout his coaching career, Chryst has made 11 stops at nine different programs, both college and professional. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for West Virginia University (1989-1990). After two years, he moved on to the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football where is was an assistant for their only two years of existence (1991-1992). He was then the offensive coordinator for Wisconsin-Platteville under George Chryst, his father, in 1993. Over the next three years he would serve as an assistant for the Ottawa Rough Riders (1994) and offensive coordinator for both the Illinois State Redbirds (1995) and Saskatchewan Roughriders (1996). [Yes, the CFL used to have only nine Canadian teams and two of them are named Roughriders]. In 1997 and 1998, Chryst was named the offensive coordinator of Oregon State under Mike Riley. Riley left for the San Diego Chargers and took Chryst with him as his Tight Ends coach for 1999-2001. After Riley was fired for going 14-34 in those three seasons, Chryst returned home to Wisconsin (2002) to continue as a Tight Ends coach. Riley was rehired by Oregon State in 2003, and Chryst returned to Corvallis to resume his role as offensive coordinator. In 2005, Chryst was then rehired by his alma mater to run the offense...and the rest is history.
Here are a couple excerpts from his Wisconsin bio that I think you will enjoy:
Chryst was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oregon State in 2003-04. He helped the Beavers rank No. 6 nationally in passing yardage per game (328.1). 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 (now with the Cleveland Browns), who left as the Pac 10's No. 2 career passing leader, RB Steven Jackson (now with St. Louis Rams), a 2004 first-round draft choice, and TE Tim Euhus, a fourth-round pick of Buffalo in 2004 who is now with Arizona.
In 2009, the Badgers led the Big Ten in both scoring (31.8 ppg.) and total offense (416.9 ypg.). Both averages are among the top five in school history.
The 2010 season was an historic one for the Badger offense. UW finished fifth in the country, averaging 41.5 points per game to demolish the school record by more than a touchdown a game. In Big Ten play it was even better, averaging 45.2 points in its eight league games, the second-best average in Big Ten annals. Heading into last season, Wisconsin had not scored 70 points in a game since 1915. The Badgers did it in three different games.
This past season, Chryst's offense added to these fantastic numbers. The Badgers ranked first in rushing touchdowns (46), ninth in rushing yards (3,086), tenth in passing touchdowns (32), fourth in points (580), second in extra points made (75), and third in 3rd down conversions (54.1%). It should also be noted that the only offensive category the Panthers ranked in this past season was sacks allowed, they finished first (56). [h/t to Justin for these facts]
While searching for pictures of Chryst to use in this post (there are like five pictures, mostly all in the same sweatshirt or windbreaker), I discovered that this season while enjoying a 51 point blowout, Chryst apparently likes to pound them down. Dana Holgorsen, you have been put on notice.
It is not currently known whether his wife, Robin, is on Twitter. Let's keep it that way.
Hail to Pitt! Welcome Coach Chryst!