By: Chris Gates

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Pitt has officially hired Paul Chryst as its next head football coach and, understandably, some fans will be hesitant to get excited about anything he does or says until the season starts.

He’s the univsersity’s 36th coach, but counting interims he’s the sixth head coach in just over a year’s time. You can’t blame Panther fans if they’re not jumping for joy right now over any head coaching hire.

That’s why I thought it would be best to present Chryst by the numbers. He’s not known as a big personality. Throughout the football world he’s just known as an excellent coach.

After Graham, that’s all Pitt needs. Over the last year Pitt’s had Mr. Passion (Dave Wannstedt), a Mr. Dud (Mike Haywood) and Mr. Personality (Todd Graham).

None panned out. So it’s on to a guy that’s highly regarded for his knowledge of the game.

Chryst has been at Wisconsin since 2005, and the numbers his offenses have put up are staggering. This season, the Badgers are averaging 44.6 points per game and 466.9 yards per game. They’re headed to the Rose Bowl as Big Ten Champions with an 11-2 record.

Quarterback Russell Wilson transferred to Wisconsin from N.C. State for his final year of eligibility and has put up incredible numbers. Wilson is second in the country in passing efficiency and completed 73 percent of his passes for 2,879 yards and 31 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

Those 31 touchdowns put him seventh in passing touchdowns on the Wisconsin all-time list in just one season.

Running back Montee Ball was a Heisman Trophy finalist this season for compiling 1,759 rushing yards and 38 total touchdowns.

It’s not just 2011, though. Ever since arriving at Wisconsin for his second stint coaching the Badgers, Chryst’s offenses have produced.

Since 2005, Chryst’s offenses have averaged over 30 points and 400 yards a game. He’s coached nine first-team All-Americans, a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner, Two Outland Trophy Award winners, a Big Ten player of the year, a Big Ten lineman of the year and more.

Chryst coached at Oregon State from 2003-04, and the 2003 Beavers became the first team in NCAA Division I history to have a 4,000-yard passer, 1,500-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.

Chryst’s offenses have been among the most lethal in the country and, what’s more, is he’s known for tailoring them to the personnel available.

Graham wouldn’t budge in his efforts to implement his “high-octane” offense at Pitt. He had players switching positions, had quarterbacks punting and rotated quarterbacks in and out of the game at extremely odd times.

Graham tried to make the players work in his offense. He didn’t try and get the offense to work for his players.

Chryst looks like the type of coach that will evaluate the talent at Pitt and utilize it within the means of reality. He won’t ask players to go outside of their comfort levels. Rather, he’ll play to their strengths.

Pitt fans don’t want to hear about what Chryst plans to do. They want to see it.

By taking a look at his past work, it seems like Chryst has a good chance to be the guy that proves it on the field and not in the press conference.

And that, most definitely, would be a welcome change.

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog

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