Paul Chryst’s tenure at Wisconsin has been highly successful. He took over the football program in December 2014 and has led the Badgers to back-to-back double-digit-win seasons. Wisconsin finished 10-3 in 2015 and 11-3 in 2016, winning bowl games over USC and Western Michigan and finishing each season nationally ranked. In 2016, in fact, the Badgers finished the season ranked ninth.
So yeah, Chryst, who is 21-6 at Wisconsin, has been highly successful.
“I don’t know if it’s how I envisioned it,” Chryst said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “You certainly have a vision and a hope of the way things go, and yet I don’t know if you ever (know). When I went to Pittsburgh, I didn’t quite know what I was getting into, and even though I was at Wisconsin three years before, I didn’t really know. I certainly had a good idea, but I didn’t know what all had gone on. And so, you just then try to see what you have and adjust to it. The things that I did feel pretty confident (about) going in were the type of kids we were going to coach and kind of the standard you could hold them to. That hadn’t changed. And you’re getting to know different personalities and kind of where they had been the last few years. You don’t know how each year is going to play out with injuries and what happens. So I don’t try to have a big picture of this is what it’s going to be. Hope is not a method. You can’t do it.”
Chryst, who played quarterback for Wisconsin from 1986-88, was on staff in 2002 and again from 2005-11. He was the head coach at Pittsburgh from 2012-14 before returning to his alma mater.
The 51-year-old is always searching for ways to improve.
“We ask the players to get better every day, and I think if you’re not asking that of yourself, it’s pretty hypocritical,” Chryst said. “For us, I know these kids. We’ve been with them for three years now, and so you should know their strengths and you play your schemes to it. You still want to keep developing them and help them on their weaknesses, but I think each year you should know your team better and therefore what you’re asking them to do, how you’re doing it. This year, we’ve got a group of seniors that have played a lot of football and then you’ve got a young class, so how do you tweak camp, especially with the new rules so that you’re getting enough for the young guys that they can learn it and the old guys you’re still pushing them, but you’re not wearing them out? So I think you’re always trying to tweak what you do personally and how you set it up schedule-wise and schematically to fit your team.”
Wisconsin advanced to the Big Ten Championship last season, with its only losses coming against Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan – all by seven points.
This year, the Badgers get Michigan at home on Nov. 18 and would not face Ohio State or Penn State until potentially the Big Ten Championship. They open the season at home against Utah State on Sept. 1. Kick off is at 9 p.m. ET.