While the college football coaching carousel has seemingly died down in the past few days, the Los Angeles Rams’ firing of Jeff Fisher has kickstarted new reports and rumors.
According to The MMQB’s Peter King, Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst may be one of a few “unsung college guys who just might come out of nowhere.” as candidates for the Rams’ job.
King, in his Wednesday column, noted Chryst, Mississippi State Dan Mullen and Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre as part of what he described as the “Schiano Surprise Element” when discussing who might replace Fisher.
Here’s King’s report:
Keep these names in mind for the unsung college guys who just might come out of nowhere: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, who is popular in the eyes of some in the NFL for his development of Dak Prescott and is well-liked by NFL people who pass through Starkville … Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst, who had Russell Wilson for his last college season and whom Wilson loved and credits for some of his development. Quiet guy, but a good coach … Now here’s an interesting name: Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre. He’s been a career defensive coach, but he has two things going for him: He turned around downtrodden programs at San Jose State and now Colorado; and he coached under Bill Parcells in Dallas.
This is a coaching search that I bet will take some odd turns before it’s over.
Honestly, I’m not sure what to think of this. Chryst was a former Wisconsin player who then moved through the ranks to become an assistant coach, offensive coordinator and now head of the football program. He’s guided UW to two 10-win seasons, including a 10-3 mark during 2016 when many thought 7-6 or 8-4 would be the end result.
Chryst was a tight ends coach under Mike Riley with the San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001, so he does have coaching experience in the NFL. To go from Wisconsin and building a program set up for big things in the coming years, though, to coaching on Sundays in the second-largest television market would be a huge jump (one he could handle and he’d possibly reunite with former Wisconsin standouts Lance Kendricks and Rob Havenstein).
Then again, would Chryst leave his alma mater? King’s a highly-respected journalist with considerable insight, but the Badgers’ head coach coming up out of the blue seems odd.
Chryst is scheduled to meet with the media on Friday as Wisconsin prepares for Western Michigan in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2. Surely, he’ll be asked about this report.