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Former Wisconsin and Pitt HC Paul Chryst finds a new home

By Andrew Kulha,

Former Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst.

Paul Chryst was a rather successful college football coach. The problem? He seemingly wore out his welcome at Wisconsin after a stretch that saw him basically dominate in the Big Ten from 2015-19.

After leading Wisconsin, his alma mater, to 10-win campaigns in four of his first five seasons, Cyryst went 4-3 in 2020 and 9-4 in 2021, which was apparently enough of a "slip" to earn him a pink slip in 2022. The Badgers fired Chryst mid-season last season after a 2-3 start with losses to Washington State, No. 3 Ohio State and Illinois.

Chryst won't be a head coach again in 2023, but he has at least found a new football home after taking the rest of the fall and winter off. According to ESPN , the Texas Longhorns have hired Chryst to be a special assistant to head coach Steve Sarkisian.

"It's a big decision and it's got implications that are not lost on me, but really, really thankful to have been able to work side by side with Coach Chryst through some incredibly exhilarating, positive moments, and some tough ones like today," Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh had said after Wisconsin's 34-10 loss to Illinois and Chryst's subsequent firing. "It's my role to have the position of our program always on my mind. We just reached a point where today I felt was the right time to make that decision"

Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard took over the program and went 5-3 with a win in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl over Oklahoma State, but the Badgers decided not to hire Leonhard full-time and instead stole Luke Fickell from Cincinnati to be the new head coach.

All told Chryst's firing was a bit of a head-scratcher considering all he did for the program. He won the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl and led Wisconsin to three Big Ten West Division titles. Before Wisconsin, Chryst went 19-19 in three seasons at Pitt.

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