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Paul Chryst affirms commitment to Pitt football

Panthers head coach Paul Chryst released a statement re-affirming his commitment to the Pitt football program, hours after speculation kicked up about his candidacy for the newly open Wisconsin job.

US PRESSWIRE

The coaching carousel was put in full motion in college football on Tuesday and the biggest surprise could affect Pittsburgh Panthers coach Paul Chryst. Arkansas stunned the college football world when news surfaced that they had lured Bret Bielema from Wisconsin. Chryst, the former offensive coordinator and line guru at Wisconsin, was immediately thought to be a prime candidate to fill the now-open position with the Badgers.

The speculation about Chryst landing in Madison even forced the Pitt coach to release a statement, affirming his commitment to the Panthers. Here's Chryst's response, via a release from the university:

"I understand the speculation surrounding my name given today's developments. I am committed to the Pitt football program and the University of Pittsburgh. I am focusing all my time and energy on our team's bowl game preparation and recruiting a great group of young men to join our program and this outstanding university. We are working hard every day to re-establish this program and I am excited about the future of Pitt football."

The Panthers, of course, are not unfamiliar with tumult and uncertainty with their head coaching position. Chryst is the fourth coach for the Panthers in the past three years (not including one interim). The opening at Wisconsin, where he is still held in the highest regard for continually producing top-notch offensive line play, has to make Pitt fans a little nervous -- likely prompting the statement assuring Pitt and its fans of his commitment.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.