Posted by Tom Fornelli
It appears we are getting close to Pitt finding a replacement for Todd Graham after Graham left the school to take over at Arizona State.
An Associated Press source with knowledge of the decision says Pittsburgh has hired Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst to be the next head football coach. This confirms a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Wednesday night, as well as several other outlets with sources close to the program.
The Post-Gazette report says that the two sides are still working on a contract agreement, and that an official announcement could come in the next day or two. Which, we'll admit, leaves a bit of wiggle room. It wouldn't be the first contract negotiation to go horribly awry.
It had been reported earlier in the week that FIU's Mario Cristobal was the frontrunner for the job with Chryst in second place, but it seems that has changed for now. Chryst also interviewed at Pitt last January before the school decided to hire Todd Graham.
Graham took the Pittsburgh head coaching job 11 months ago preaching character, commitment and a "high octane" offense designed to take the Big East by storm.
What was high-octane was watching Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri dodge pass rush from the opposition. The Panthers allowed 57 sacks this season, easily the most in the FBS, and Graham enraged the Pitt fan base by shifting blame from himself to Sunseri.
Chryst, a former Wisconsin quarterback, has built one of the Big Ten's most dominant offensive units since joining the Badgers' coaching staff in 2005. This season, the Badgers' led the Big Ten in total offense with 466.9 yards per game and the unit has finished in the top three of that same category every season since 2007.