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ESPN Wisconsin Blogs - Zach Heilprin

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Badgers football: Report: Chryst will retain Aranda as DC

Dec 18, 2014 -- 3:48pm
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin will hold onto their defensive coordinator.
The Wisconsin State Journal is reporting that new head coach Paul Chryst has decided to retain Dave Aranda, who has served as UW’s defensive coordinator the past two years.
A person close to the program said that a number of players, including most of the linebackers, went to Aranda last week and asked him to stay.
Though they didn’t play well in a 59-0 loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game, the defense has been very good for much of the season. They are ranked in the top 20 of all four major defensive categories, including total defense (No. 4), rush defense (No. 17), pass defense (No. 5) and scoring defense (No. 13)
Aranda was a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to the best assistant coach in the country.

Badgers football: How will Chryst fill out his staff?

Dec 17, 2014 -- 11:42pm
Former UW offensive lineman and tight ends coach Joe Rudolph is expected to join Paul Chryst in Madison.
MADISON - Paul Chryst is officially in the fold. Now who will be there with him?
The new University of Wisconsin coach will be tasked with piecing together a coaching staff that will likely consist of some members of his group in Pittsburgh, holdovers from former UW coach Gary Andersen’s staff and possibly some new but familiar faces.
“I'm looking forward to being able to talk to the (current) coaches tomorrow,” Chryst said Wednesday during his introductory press conference. “I'm looking forward to putting the group together. But, (I) haven't finalized anything certainly.”
He’s right in that nothing has been finalized but some pieces to the puzzle are coming into focus. reported earlier in the week that Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph and defensive coordinator Matt House will be coming with Chryst to Madison.
Rudolph was an All-Big Ten offensive lineman for Wisconsin in the early 1990’s and coached UW’s tight ends from 2008-2011. With the announcement of Chryst taking the UW job, Rudolph will serve as the interim head coach for Pitt’s Armed Forces Bowl matchup with Houston on Jan. 2.  
House served under Chryst for two years at Pitt and will come to Wisconsin as something other than defensive coordinator, meaning Dave Aranda, who currently holds that spot for the Badgers, could return.
Kevin Graham of WEEI in Boston is reporting that Aranda and Andersen have decided its best for him to stay in Madison. A person close to the program told that UW players asked Aranda to stay. That same person said safeties coach Bill Busch would also like to stick around.
Meanwhile, Ben Strickland – a former UW player who has coached the Badgers’ cornerbacks for the past two seasons – is expected to remain in Madison.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reported that tight ends coach Jeff Genyk would like to stay as well.
It's unclear where running backs coach Thomas Brown and wide receivers coach Chris Beatty sit when it comes to their futures.
There is also the possibility that Chryst could go after his friend and former co-worker Bob Bostad. He coached the Badgers tight ends in 2006, and was the offensive line and the team’s run game coordinator from 2007-2011. He currently works for the Tennessee Titans as the offensive line coach.
As for the coaches that will follow Andersen to Oregon State, two have already been hired. Offensive line coach T.J. Woods and defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a will reportedly join the Beavers after UW’s Outback Bowl matchup with Auburn. Also, strength and conditioning coach Evan Simon, recruiting coordinator Vince Guita and Director of Football Operations Jason Thomas will head west.
“I know that we'll be able to put together a great staff, and a staff of men that certainly are experts in their field,” Chryst said. “But are great people and that truly buy into wanting to help these young men become the best they can. Certainly in football, but outside of football, and that is every bit, if not more, rewarding than the actual football part.”

Badgers football: Current, former players react to Chryst hire

Dec 17, 2014 -- 9:33pm
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin introduced Paul Chryst as the 30th head football coach in school history on Wednesday. A number of current and former Badgers took to Twitter to show their support for the hire.

Badgers football: UW hires Paul Chryst

Dec 17, 2014 -- 6:39pm
Photo/Associated Press
MADISON – Paul Chryst is home.
The University of Wisconsin announced Wednesday night that they had hired the Madison native as the 30th head coach in school history.
It’s a move that was projected to happen since former coach Gary Andersen bolted abruptly for Oregon State after just two years on the job.
Chryst has spent the last three years at Pittsburgh where he compiled a 19-19 record but brought some stability to a program that had four head coaches in the 14 months prior to his arrival. The Madison native returns to the place where he played quarterback in the mid-80’s, coached tight ends in 2002 and oversaw the offense from 2005-2011.
“He’s a really good X’s and O’s coach,” said former Badgers wide receiver Brandon Williams, who played under Chryst in 2002 and 2005. “He understands what the strengths of his players are, and he understands what will fit with the scheme he wants to run. He will really maximize what a player can do within the scheme.”
A pair of Chryst’s assistants at Pitt -- offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Joe Rudolph – an All-Big Ten offensive lineman for Wisconsin in the early 1990s – and defensive coordinator Matt House -- will reportedly follow him to Madison. House, though, will fill a role other than leading the defense because it appears current Badgers defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will be sticking around.
Kevin Graham of WEEI in Boston is reporting that Aranda and Andersen have decided its best for him to stay in Madison. A person close to the program told that UW players asked Aranda to stay.
Graham also reports that offensive line coach T.J. Woods, defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a and strength and conditioning coach Evan Simon will join Andersen in Corvallis.

Badgers football: Chryst meeting with UW officials

Dec 16, 2014 -- 3:36pm
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin is getting closer to installing Paul Chryst as their new head coach.
UW officials sent out a meeting notice late Tuesday afternoon that said the Board of Regents would be holding a closed session meeting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss the employment terms for a new football coach. And reported that Chryst, the current coach at Pittsburgh, would be introduced as the Badgers new head man at a press conference at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, multiple outlets, including the Associated Press, reported Chryst told his players at Pittsburgh that he was planning to meet with Wisconsin officials in Madison on Tuesday – the second time he’s talked with them since former coach Gary Andersen abruptly left for Oregon State last Wednesday.
Due to the university’s hiring policies, Wisconsin can’t name a head coach until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. As ESPNWisconsin reported last Friday, Chryst is expected to return to Madison and become the 30th head coach in school history.
Chryst is 19-19 in three’s years as Pittsburgh’s head coach. He took over in 2012 after seven seasons as UW’s offensive coordinator. In his final two seasons, the Badgers set school records for points per game and won a pair of Big Ten titles. Chryst played quarterback for Wisconsin in the 1980s and is a native of Madison.
It was reported by on Monday that Pitt’s offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Joe Rudolph and defensive coordinator Matt House will be coming with Chryst. Rudolph was an All-Big Ten lineman for the Badgers in early 1990s, and also coached the tight ends for Wisconsin from 2008 to 2011. House has been the Panthers defensive coordinator for the past two seasons but the report states that he won’t hold the same position with the Badgers.
Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that Chryst will likely try and lure Bob Bostad back to Madison as well. Bostad coached tight ends, the offensive line and was the run game coordinator for Wisconsin from 2006 to 2011. He left with Chryst and was named the offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh. However, he left just two months later to take the offensive line job with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers under head coach Greg Schiano. The entire staff was fired after last season and Bostad got a job coaching the offensive line with the Tennessee Titans.
Bostad is a Wisconsin native and graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 1989.

Badgers football: Chryst waits for Wednesday

Dec 15, 2014 -- 5:32pm
Photo/via @ArmedForcesBowl
Paul Chryst (second from the right) was in Texas answering questions about Pittsburgh's bowl game on Monday.
MADISON - It appears Paul Chryst is waiting for Wednesday just like everyone else.
The Pittsburgh head coach was in Fort Worth, Texas on Monday answering questions about his team’s matchup with Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2. But the press conference had an awkward feel to it as Chryst is expected to become the head coach at the University of Wisconsin. The only problem is that because of university hiring policies UW athletic director Barry Alvarez can’t offer the job to anyone until Wednesday.
"I was told nothing will happen before then," Chryst said according to the Associated Press. "I don't know what they're thinking specifically. It probably depends on the search."
The search is an effort to find a replacement for Gary Andersen, who abruptly pulled up stakes after two years in Madison to take the head coaching position at Oregon State. And it’s believed that Chryst, a former quarterback and offensive coordinator at the school, is Alvarez’s top choice.
"The truth of it is, I talked to (Wisconsin) and then once I was done talking, it's all about getting back and getting our team ready for this bowl game and recruiting," Chryst said. "That's really where it's at right now."
Once Wednesday hits, and Chryst is hired as the 30th head coach in UW history, the next step is filling out his staff. A report by the website, said Chryst plans to bring Joe Rudolph with him to Madison. A former offensive lineman that played on UW’s 1994 Rose Bowl Championship team, Rudolph has been the offensive coordinator/tight ends coach at Pitt for the past three years. Before that, he spent four years with the Badgers as tight ends coach and was a major factor on the recruiting trail.
The report also says Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Matt House is expected to follow Chryst to Wisconsin. However, it won’t be as defensive coordinator, meaning that UW’s current defensive leader, Dave Aranda, may stick around.
Other holdover possibilities include, wide receivers coach Chris Beatty, running backs coach Thomas Brown and cornerbacks coach Ben Strickland.
For Chryst, though, he’ll have to deal with a few more awkward days coaching his team and getting they ready for the bowl game.
"When something like this comes up,” Chryst told the AP, “(the players) understand that and you just tell them the truth."
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