For the third time in less than a calendar year, Pittsburgh will hire a new head football coach. Todd Graham, who left Pittsburgh for Arizona State after just eleven months on the job, will be succeeded by current Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. After speculation that included names such as current NFL assistant coach Teryl Austin, former Illinois and Florida coach Ron Zook, and more recently Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal, Pittsburgh has zeroed in on the leader of one of the more effective offenses in the Big Ten according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise.
Chryst served as offensive coordinator at Oregon State in 1997-1998 as well as 2003-2004. He has been the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin since 2005. His offenses have typically been conservative, ground-oriented, pro-style attacks that relied on Wisconsin's backs and dominant offensive lines. This season, Wisconsin averaged 44.2 points per game (4th nationally) and sent running back Montee Ball to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist. The hiring should be made official within 48 hours according to Zeise and others.