Chryst joins UW staff

Oregon State offensive coordinator, a former UW player and coach, fills Badger vacancy

As expected Paul Chryst has been hired to replace Rob Ianello on the University of Wisconsin football coaching staff. The former Badger quarterback and assistant coach returns to his alma mater as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, UW head coach Barry Alvarez announced Thursday, in a prepared statement. Alvarez could not be immediately reached for further comment.

Chryst has spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oregon State. He replaces Ianello, who left Wisconsin shortly after the Badgers' Jan. 1 Outback Bowl loss to take a position as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Notre Dame.

"I'm very pleased that Paul will be re-joining our staff," Alvarez said in the statement. "He already has a good relationship with our coaches and there is a good chemistry among them. With co-coordinators, we will have clearly defined responsibilities and the lines of communication will be wide open."

Chryst will share the Badgers' offensive coordinator duties with Brian White, who has spent the past 10 seasons as a UW assistant, serving as offensive coordinator and running backs coach since 1999.

Last season, the Oregon State offense Chryst directed was seventh in the nation in passing (308.8 yards per game) and No. 60 in pass efficiency rating (124.0). The pass-heavy Beavers were No. 117 in rushing offense (70.7), No. 54 in total offense (379.5) and No. 49 in scoring offense (26.7 points per game).

In 2003 OSU was sixth nationally in passing yards per game (328.1) and 10th in total offense (463.0 yards per game).

"Paul has run his own offense and has experience at a variety of levels," Alvarez said. "It's good to bring in new ideas and different approaches to things. Paul will do that."

The Badgers' offense had a few shining moments in 2004 but was a mostly moribund unit plagued by injuries and inconsistency. Wisconsin finished the season ranked No. 103 in passing offense (167.2), No. 52 in rushing offense (160.9), No. 93 in total offense (328.1), No. 96 in scoring offense (20.8) and No. 99 in passing efficiency (109.3).

By most measures, Wisconsin's offense last season was its least productive since the 1992 campaign.

Chryst spent the 2002 season with Wisconsin as tight ends coach and on-campus recruiting coordinator. He returns to Madison with a wealth of experience in his portfolio and plenty of connections to Madison and the state of Wisconsin.

Chryst's father, the late George Chryst, was the head football coach at UW-Platteville from 1979-92. George Chryst lettered in football at Wisconsin in 1957 and 1958. He served as a graduate assistant on UW's '59 Rose Bowl team, was a football and basketball coach at Madison Edgewood High School and was an assistant football coach at UW from 1972-77.

Paul Chryst, a Madison native, attended Platteville High School, where he lettered in football, baseball, basketball and track. He led Platteville to the 1983 state title as an all-state quarterback. Chryst earned a bachelor's degree in political science from UW-Madison (1988) after lettering for three years (1986-88) with the Badger football team. He earned a master's degree from West Virginia in 1990 after spending two years there as a graduate assistant coach.

His recent stint with Oregon State was just one of many coaching stops under the tutelage of OSU head coach Mike Riley. Chryst was the tight ends coach with the NFL's San Diego Chargers from 1999-01, before Riley's staff was fired. He very nearly followed Riley to the New Orleans Saints in 2002, but chose to take the position with UW instead.

While with the Chargers, Chryst tutored Freddie Jones, San Diego's offensive player of the year in 2000 after catching 71 passes for 766 yards and five touchdowns.

Chryst also worked under Riley as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oregon State (1997-98) and with the San Antonio Riders of the World League in 1991-92.

His 1998 Beaver offense produced a passing attack that averaged 256.1 yards per game and unveiled future Oregon State career rushing leader Ken Simonton.

Chryst has also served as offensive coordinator at UW-Platteville (1993), Illinois State ('95) and Saskatchewan of the Canadian Football League ('96). He was also an assistant with Ottawa of the CFL in 1994.

Chryst's brother, Rick, is the commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. Another brother, Geep Chryst, has coached in the NFL with San Diego and the Arizona Cardinals.

Paul Chryst and his wife, Robin, have three children: Katryn, Mikayla and Danny.

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