"I'm very pleased Paul will be staying with our program," Bielema said. "It's a testament to all he has done here that an organization like the Cowboys would be interested in him. Our offense has progressed under his direction the past two seasons and both Paul and I are looking forward to more of the same in 2007. In addition to Paul, it's great to have his wife, Robin, and their family remaining in Madison.
"When you have as successful a season as we had in 2006, it's not surprising that other teams have approached several of our coaches. I appreciate our coaches' commitment to our program at Wisconsin and I'm thrilled that our staff will return intact for the 2007 season."
Chryst, the Badgers' tight ends coach in 2002, returned to Wisconsin in 2005 and his impact on the UW offense has been undeniable. The 2005 Badgers set school records for points scored in a season (446) and for season scoring average (34.3 ppg). UW scored at least 40 points six times in 2005. The Badger passing game was much improved, with QB John Stocco setting school season records for passing yards (2,920), passing TDs (21) and pass completions (197). Wisconsin's aerial attack distributed the ball widely, as wide receivers caught 110 passes, running backs made 61 receptions and tight ends made 29 grabs. Running back Brian Calhoun became just the second player in NCAA Division IA history to accumulate 1,500 yards rushing and 500 receiving yards in the same season.
Five players from the 2005 Badger offense were selected in the 2006 NFL Draft and several others were lost to graduation, so Chryst had to rebuild the 2006 offense with a new staff and eight new starters. The result? Chryst helped orchestrate Wisconsin's record 12-win season with an offense that produced: 1) the ninth-highest scoring (29.2 ppg) unit in school history; 2) the second-winningest quarterback in school history (Stocco had 29 victories as Wisconsin's starter), who finished second in every major career passing category at UW; 3) an Outland Trophy winner in OT Joe Thomas; 4) the school record-holder for receptions (61) and receiving yards (903) by a tight end in sophomore Travis Beckum; and 5) P.J. Hill, the Big Ten's leading rusher (1,569 yards) and Freshman of the Year.