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Pitt's Paul Chryst returning to Wisconsin as head coach, according to reports

The Badgers had a pretty obvious list of replacements for Gary Andersen.

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Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Paul Chryst will leave for the Wisconsin Badgers, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus and others. The job was vacated just days ago by Gary Andersen, who left for Oregon State to quite a bit of surprise. He was the second Wisconsin coach to up and leave out of nowhere, following Bret Bielema's exit to Arkansas two years prior.

Chryst was an assistant at Wisconsin in 2002 under current athletic director Barry Alvarez and the offensive coordinator for most of Bielema's time in Madison, leaving to take the Pitt head coaching job in 2012. He reached a 19-19 record with three bowl trips, with underclassmen serving as the Panthers' top players for most of his three-year stay.

Chryst, along with NC State head coach Dave Doeren, another former Badgers coordinator, was one of the first names identified by just about everybody as a potential replacement for Andersen, who had no apparent previous connections to UW.

His style will play well in Madison, as it's essentially the same power attack that Alvarez and Bielema preferred. The Badgers produced a Heisman finalist this year in running back Melvin Gordon while adopting some quarterback runs and mixing things up a little, so we'll see if spread-like elements remain or if things get back to basics.

Bucky's 5th Quarter has a ton more on the news, including the local reaction and reports that Chryst might be able to get the band back together and round up some other former Wisconsin assistants.

Fun fact! Chryst, a Wisconsin quarterback in the 1980s, has also left Madison for Oregon State before. He ran the Beavers' offense in 2003 and 2004 before his third transition to Wisconsin. And now here comes his fourth.

Next up: Who do you like for the Pitt job? Cardiac Hill says it's time to throw out the list the Panthers have used for the last several coaching searches. These things happen frequently to Pitt, you see.