The rumor mill is swirling around University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez's choice to coach the Badgers next season, with Paul Chryst, Al Golden and Joe Rudolph the latest names to surface.
Wisconsin is looking for a new coach after Bret Bielema bolted Madison for the head coaching job at Arkansas.
Chryst, the first-year head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, is a favorite among Wisconsin fans for the head coaching job. The Pitt coach was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin for seven years, so he’s familiar with the program.
The Wisconsin State Journal of Madison also pointed out that Chryst is a Madison native and played tight end for the Badgers.
But according to media reports, Chryst is not being considered for the Wisconsin coaching job, although it has nothing to do with his coaching ability.
Alvarez, a former Wisconsin coach who will be coaching the Badgers in the Rose Bowl, told the Associated Press that he thinks it’s inappropriate to hire Chryst after just one year at Pitt. Alvarez added that he helped the former Wisconsin offensive coordinator land the job at the Big East school.
The State Journal added that Chryst “would be UW's ideal candidate, but several factors are working against that, and the timing does not appear to be right,” referring to Chryst’s thin head coaching resume and $6 million buyout.
Chryst put the rumors to rest himself, issuing a statement saying he’s committed to Pitt, according to the AP.
The State Journal reported that Golden, the head coach at the University of Miami, and Pitt offensive coordinator Rudolph also may be considered by Alvarez.
Golden may be tempted to leave the Hurricanes since that football program is facing sanctions, the State Journal reported. Miami forfeited a bowl invite in wake of an NCAA investigation.
Like Chryst, Golden has ties to the Badgers. Former Miami athletic director Shawn Eichorst also served as an associate athletic director at Wisconsin.
“Eichorst didn't hire Golden but knows him well and would be a valuable resource if Alvarez elects to go in that direction,” the State Journal reported.
Then there’s Rudolph, who also has Madison connections. Alvarez was his coach at Wisconsin during his playing days, where he suited up as an offensive lineman.
Rudolph is said to be an “excellent recruiter,” according to the State Journal, and is held in high regard by Alvarez.