After three seasons with Pittsburgh, Chryst returns to Wisconsin to be the Badgers’ head coach. He has a 67-26 record in eight seasons in Madison and is 6-1 in bowl games. Chryst’s first few seasons were the highlights of his tenure. The Badgers went 34-7 between 2015 and 2017 and won the Orange Bowl in 2017. Chryst made a number of fundamental changes during his tenure, but the team is better off having them done sooner than later.
Badgers’ defense was slow and plodding
On paper, it appears that Wisconsin’s defense was slow and plodding all season. However, the Badgers have been consistently good this season despite their slow start. In fact, they’ve already faced six teams with low defensive tempo ratings, including St. John’s, Green Bay, Marquette, and Northwestern.
The Badgers’ offensive line has enough talent to get by. However, the defense relies on a pass-rush scheme to make the quarterback uncomfortable. Despite this, the Badgers’ offense still relies on its own talent to get the ball down the field.
Offense was a relic of the past
Under Chryst, Wisconsin’s offense was a relapse of the old ways. Instead of building an offense around quarterback Matt Cassel and a balanced attack, the Badgers relied on running the ball more effectively. Chryst recruited former NFL running back Al Johnson to coach his running backs. The veteran was a three-year starter at UW and was picked in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He played for four teams before being hired by Chryst.
Chryst has a history of developing a passing game, pairing athletic tight ends with slower linebackers. He also emphasizes developing a pass game with a wide variety of receivers and tight ends. While he doesn’t rely on a star tight end like Ray Graham, the Badgers are also stocked with talented backups Isaac Bennett and freshman Rushel Shell.
Chryst won three division titles
Paul Chryst won three division titles in three seasons as the head coach at Wisconsin, the first of which came in 2011. In that same season, the Badgers finished 13-0, finishing 2nd in the AP poll and claiming their first Orange Bowl title since the 1960s. Chryst was selected the Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year, selected by the league’s media, and was also a finalist for the AFCA Coach of the Year award and the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award.
Chryst was hired as the head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh on December 22, 2011. He was 19-19 before he was hired at Wisconsin. During the 2013 season, Chryst led the Panthers to a Little Caesars Bowl victory.
Won two Big Ten coaches of the year awards
The Wisconsin Badgers’ head coach Paul Chryst has won two Big Ten coaches of the year awards this season. Chryst won the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year award, selected by other Big Ten coaches, and the Dave McClain Coach of the Year award. He led Wisconsin to the Big Ten West Division title and a No. 3 AP poll for the first time since the 1960s. Chryst was also a finalist for the AFCA Coach of the Year and Bear Bryant Coach of the Year.
Chryst was hired at Wisconsin in 2014 and was introduced as the head coach of the program on Dec. 17, 2014. At the time, Chryst said that returning to his alma mater wasn’t a dream job, but he believed he had to earn it. Two seasons later, Chryst has led Wisconsin to an overall record of 20-5. He will coach the Badgers in the 2016 Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis.