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Report: Wisconsin parts ways with head coach Paul Chryst

Chandler Vesselsby:Chandler Vessels10/02/22

ChandlerVessels

Wisconsin has parted ways with head football coach Paul Chryst, ESPN’s Adam Rittenburg reported Sunday. Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard will take over as the interim head coach for the remainder of 2022.

Chryst was in his eighth season as the Badgers coach, having compiled a 67-26 record in that span. He is the third-winningest coach in program history and led Wisconsin to an Orange Bowl victory in 2017 and a Rose Bowl appearance in 2019. However, he was off to just a 2-3 start this season.

Chryst is a former Badgers quarterback and tight end who took over the head coaching position in 2015 following three seasons as the head coach at Pittsburgh. Prior to that, he was an offensive coordinator at Wisconsin from 2005-11.

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Based on the terms of Chryst’s contract, this move could cost the school as much as $16.4 million in a buyout, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel. For reference, this buyout will cost the school $1.4 million more than it cost Nebraska to let go of Scott Frost and, needless to say, Chryst had much more success than Frost. In his seven full seasons in Madison, Chryst never failed to make a bowl game while Frost never had a winning season.

The decision comes just one year after Wisconsin gave Chryst a raise of nearly $1 million, making the buyout that much more expensive than it would have been at this point last year.

After starting the season No. 18 in the nation, things haven’t gone according to plan for the Badgers. They blew out Illinois State and New Mexico State but have lost all three of their Power-5 matchups. That includes last week’s 34-10 loss to Illinois, which was apparently the final straw in the the decision to part ways with Chryst.

Wisconsin will play its first game without Chryst at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday against Northwestern.

On3’s Sam Gillenwater contributed to this report.