Chryst stayed in state for college where he attended the University of Wisconsin. While at UW, he lettered three times in football for the Badgers. He graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
He would transfer to West Virginia where he would earn his master’s degree in educational administration. West Virginia would also be the place where Chryst received his first coaching opportunity.
Chryst was given a graduate position with the Mountaineers during the 1990 season.
Following the one year stint at West Virginia, Chryst and Riley would meet for the first time in Texas. Chryst served as the wide receivers and tight ends coach for the World Footballl Leagues's San Antonio Riders in 1991, and as the running backs and tight ends coach in 1992.
Coach Chryst quickly moved back to the collegiate ranks in 1993 to serve as the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s offensive coordinator.
But the lure of professional football would attract Chryst to Canada where he was the assistant coach of the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Rough Riders in 1994.
After one year in the CFL, Chryst returned to the college ranks as the Illinois State offensive coordinator in 1995. Following the 1995 season, Chryst returned to America's northern neighbors as the Saskatchewan Roughriders offensive coordinator.
Chryst finally settled in at Oregon State for two years as the Beavers offensive coordinator during the 1997 and 1998 seasons before moving to the NFL.
He followed Mike Riley to San Diego where he coached the Chargers tight ends. While in California, Chryst was instrumental in the development of San Diego’s Freddie Jones. Under Chryst’s tutelage, Jones was chosen as the Chargers offensive player of the year after leading the team in receptions with 71 for 766 yards and five touchdowns.
Following three years in the NFL, Chryst once again moved back to the college ranks. He joined his alma mater in 2002 as the Badgers tight ends coach.
Chryst rejoins Riley in Corvallis as the Beavers offensive coordinator for the 2003 football season.
Riley’s comments: "I am excited to have Paul Chryst return to Oregon State. I have coached with Paul for a number of years. I think he brings to us a wealth of offensive knowledge, plus the face he has an extensive background as a recruiter in the Bay Area.