Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez held a press conference Thursday morning to address mainly his decision to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl and also the departure of former head coach Brett Bielema on Tuesday, but naturally, in a room filled with journalists, other topics came up for discussion as well.
Pitt fans may have been hanging on the edge of their seats waiting to see if he would be asked about details on his coaching search. More specifically, Pitt fans wanted to know if former Badger offensive coordinator and current Panther head coach Paul Chryst was a candidate to return home to Wisconsin where he grew up, lived, played collegiate football, and was the team’s former offensive coordinator.
Leading up to that question, which was asked about three-quarters of the way through the press conference, Alvarez addressed what he will be looking for in the next head coach at Wisconsin. Ironically, his description fit Chryst to a tee.
“The person I put in place will be someone who cares about the kids, someone who understands Wisconsin and will be a good fit for us. The coach I hire will be someone who understands how we do business,” Alvarez said. “I’m not looking to change a whole lot in how we operate here. I will start with head coaches, not saying I will not hire an assistant coach. You want to hire somebody that understands the culture here, understands big 10 football.”
Chryst released a statement Tuesday night that he was fully committed to Pitt. Him and his staff also contacted recruits to tell them he was staying at Pitt.
Still, rumors smoldered that Chryst left enough slack in his statement to stil be able to exit should the opporutnity arise but Alvarez threw water on this fire instead of gasoline.
“I asked some very close friends of mine to help Paul [Chryst] get that job. I think Paul has already come out and said he is committed to Pitt. I think he should be committed to Pitt,” Alvarez said. “I wouldn’t think it would be right for him to leave after one year. I wouldn’t feel right and I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to hire him back after I asked someone to do me a favor and help him get that job. Paul is going to stay at Pitt.”
Pitt is planning to host many football recruits and verbal signees this weekend including at Saturday night's home basketball game. Paul Chryst will be there hosting the visitors wearing a blue jacket, not a red one.