Two sources indicated to Badger Nation that Chryst, his wifevand their three children flew by private jet to Austin, Texas, Monday for a meeting with Longhorns Coach Mack Brown, who formally offered Chryst the same position. The group returned Tuesday afternoon.
One source did indicate, however, that a report by recruitocosm.com, saying that Brown officially hired both Chryst and UW Offensive Line Coach Bob Bostad Monday night but wouldn't make the news official until the pair had time to address their players, was false.
Both sources did not know whether Bostad went with Chryst on the trip or if he had been officially offered the offensive line position. One UW player did say though that he wouldn't be surprised if they stuck together.
Speaking with two UW returning offensive football players, neither of them had been addressed by either coach, no team meeting has been scheduled and the most they had heard was what had already been reported.
Chryst, who just finished his fifth year as offensive coordinator for the Badgers, has been linked to the Longhorns since their coordinator Greg Davis resigned earlier this month as part of a massive staff shakeup following a 5-7 season, but said during the week leading up to the Rose Bowl that no contact has been made by Texas.
"There really is a lot more buzz than actual (interest)," Chryst said at the time.
Chryst has a compensation package worth $361,094, second highest in the conference, but UW athletic director Barry Alvarez has said he and UW Coach Bret Bielema are working on a new deal for all the assistants after winning the school's first conference title since 1999.
It might not be enough. Will Muschamp made $900,000 as the Longhorns' defensive coordinator this season before leaving to become Florida's new head coach. It's believed Brown will pay up to $1 million for his new coordinators, a figure UW can't match.
While leaving Austin, Chryst told reporters he had a good visit with Brown but had no comment when asked if he had taken the job. According to Madison.com, after Chryst returned to Madison, he went straight from the plane to a car on the tarmac at Wisconsin Aviation and was not available for questions.
Badgers players universally expressed their admiration for Chryst, who oversaw an offense that set a school record with 539 points, an average of 41.5 points per game this season, and 48 rushing touchdowns.
For comparison purposes, Texas ranked 88th among 120 teams in the Football Bowls Subdivision in scoring, averaging 23.8 points per game, and is 58th in total offense, averaging 382.5 yards.
"He's a great coach," senior left guard John Moffitt said last week. "It's more than just Xs and Os. I think he gets players and how we are and our attitudes."
Although not a major recruiter, Chryst has done wonders as Wisconsin's quarterback coach, developing little-known quarterbacks Scott Tolzien, Tyler Donovan and John Stocco in prolific, accurate passers, as that group ranked first, third and fourth, respectively, in completion percentage in school history.
With Tolzien graduation, the Badgers will be looking at either fourth-year junior Curt Phillips to recover from his second ACL surgery, third-year sophomore Jon Budmayr or redshirt freshmen Joe Brennan to lead an offense that is slated to lose at least five starters
"He knows that a lot of our players are really flexible at what we can do, so one play we might be running a jet sweep, another we might be running out of the I," senior tight end Lance Kendricks said.
If Chryst said no to Texas, odds are another Texas school would at least make a phone call. New Dallas Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett will probably inquire to Chryst's interest, seeing as Garrett tried to hire Chryst in 2007 as the quarterbacks coach when he became the offensive coordinator.
The two worked together when Chryst was an assistant coach and Garrett was the quarterback for the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football in 1991 and '92 and they have remained friends since.
Bielema already has to replace Defensive Coordinator Dave Doeren, who accepted the head coaching job at Northern Illinois and stayed to coach the bowl. Bielema said that he has made his decision - Secondary Coach Chris Ash and Defensive Line Coach Charlie Partridge are the two favorites for the job – and could announce it sometime this week.