University of Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson says he understands why Panthers football coach Paul Chryst would be interested in returning to Wisconsin, his alma mater, to fill the Badgers' vacant coaching position, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
SI.com's Thayer Evans reported Friday that Chryst was set to become Wisconsin's new coach, but Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez has said the program has not yet made any offers to candidates.
Gary Andersen, who coached Wisconsin the past two seasons, left the school earlier this week to become the new head coach at Oregon State.
Chryst, who played quarterback for Wisconsin, served as the team's offensive coordinator from 2005 to 2011. Pederson says he understands why that connection to Madison would pique Chryst's interest in the job. From The Tribune-Review:
“(Wisconsin) is his alma mater,” Pederson said. “You can understand why this would give him pause to think about it.
“I can't blame him for that. I don't think most people would blame him for that.”
Despite Chryst's apparent interest in coaching the Badgers, Pederson said he is still holding out hope the coach will stay with the Panthers. The athletic director told The Tribune-Review he believes there is a chance Chryst will stay in Pittsburgh.
“We are committed to him long-term and hope he will stay committed here long-term," Pederson said, according to The Tribune-Review. "I hope our coach will stay.”
- Stanley Kay