Alvarez: Chryst Not an Option

Despite his name being at the top of many fans' wish lists, Wisconsin Athletic Director/interim head coach Barry Alvarez will not reach out to Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst when he begins his head coaching interviews next week.

MADISON - The search for Barry Alvarez to find the 29th head coach in Wisconsin football history actually began five minutes after Bret Bielema left his New York City hotel room, telling him he took the head coaching job at Arkansas.

The process to actually hire a coach will take longer.

Planning to start interviewing prospective coaches face-to-face next week, Alvarez won't use a search committee (‘most search committees use me,' said Alvarez) and stated he's not in a big rush to name a new head coach.

"There's been a lot of interest shown in the position because it's a great job. It's on solid footing, new facilities and a very good nucleus coming back," said Alvarez, who made it a point to say he's coming out of retirement for one game only. "I have a short list of coaches, and I've made contact with a couple of them, and I'll proceed in the interview process."

One of the coaches he won't interview will be Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst. The former Wisconsin quarterback and offensive coordinator spent time on Alvarez's staff before leaving following last year's Rose Bowl to coach the Panthers, but Alvarez won't reach out to gauge his interest in coming back.

"I asked some very good friends of mine to help Paul get that job," said Alvarez. "I think Paul has already come out and said that he's committed to Pitt. I think he should be committed to Pitt. I wouldn't think it would be right for him to leave after one year. I wouldn't feel right, and I don't think it would be appropriate for me to hire him back after I asked someone to do me a favor and help him get that job.

"So Paul's going to stay at Pitt."

Alvarez said he will start with head coaches, but would not rule out the probably of hiring an assistant coach. He also said it's not essential that the next head coach has ties to Wisconsin.

"I'd like for them to know about Wisconsin and know what we're about and how we win, and I'll be very interested to know their plan and how they're going to proceed in all areas," said Alvarez.

He also wants to hire a coach who understands recruiting, the program and what kind of players fit into the Wisconsin program.

"You always want to hire someone that is going to bring a little more to the table," said Alvarez. "I don't have any problem with our scheme. I don't perceive us as a spread them out, fast pace, no huddle, one back, five wides. I don't see us doing that because that's not the type of kid we can consistently recruit, and we have to remember that.

"You know what the plan is. It starts with those big palookas up front."

Alvarez shot down Bielema's comments from his Wednesday press conference that the assistant pay scale at Wisconsin handcuffed him to retain assistants, something that Bielema said wouldn't be a problem in Arkansas.

"I think our pay scale for assistant coaches is more than competitive and fair," said Alvarez. "As an athletic director, I have to make decisions. I know what people are making. And every time someone has a hint they may take another job, it's not prudent to jump and throw a pile of money at them.

"We all see what the salaries are. I know what the salaries are. I get charts with them. We're more than competitive. And not only that, we have a great place. It's a wonderful university. It's a great place to live. We have new facilities coming. People want to work here. The quality of life here is top notch.

"So we can get good assistants here. We have had good assistants here. We'll continue to have good assistants here, and we'll have stability here."


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