Chryst named Big Ten Coach of the Year
MADISON, Wis. – After guiding Wisconsin to its first 12-0 regular season in school history, UW head coach Paul Chryst swept the Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, the conference announced Thursday. Chryst earned the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year award from the league’s coaches for the second consecutive season and was also named Dave McClain Coach of the Year by the conference’s media.
Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor, who led the Big Ten in rushing and needs just 120 yards to break Adrian Peterson’s NCAA freshman rushing record, was named the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year. Senior tight end Troy Fumagalli, a Mackey Award finalist, earned the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year.
With records of 10-3, 11-3 and 12-0 in his first three seasons at the helm of his alma mater, Chryst joins Michigan’s Fielding Yost (1901-03) and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer (2012-14) as the only coaches in league history to win 10-plus games in each of their first three seasons. The Badgers have spent the entire season ranked among the top 10 and are slotted at No. 3 in this week’s Associated Press poll, their highest ranking since 1963.
Chryst led UW to its first 9-0 Big Ten season and the second consecutive Big Ten West Division title. The Badgers are the lone undefeated Power Five conference team and the only team in the country to not trail in the fourth quarter of any game this season. Wisconsin has won 10 of its 12 games by a margin of at least 14 points.
Taylor, the eighth Badger to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, has burst onto the scene as the most impactful true freshman since Peterson finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2004. He leads the Big Ten — and all FBS freshmen — in rushing, at 150.5 yards per game, and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry.
Taylor reached 1,000 rushing yards in his seventh game, matching the FBS freshman record for fewest games needed to hit 1,000. He joined Florida’s Emmitt Smith (1987), San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk (1991), Peterson (2004), North Texas’ Jamario Thomas (2004) and Wisconsin’s own P.J. Hill (2006).
Fumagalli joins Jacob Pederson (2012) as the only Badgers to be named Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year. He leads UW in receptions (38) and ranks second on the team in receiving yards (471) and receiving touchdowns (4). A complete tight end, his blocking is also instrumental in UW’s running game, which ranks second in the Big Ten and 18th nationally.