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Badgers' Chryst named Big Ten coach of the year

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Jeff Potrykus
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Friday, December 1, 2017

MADISON--Thursday was another banner day for the Wisconsin football program.

Paul Chryst, who has guided UW to a 12-0 mark and into the Big Ten title game for the second consecutive season, was named Big Ten coach of the year by the coaches and media.

Chryst and Penn State’s James Franklin shared the honor last season. The league’s coaches picked Chryst and the media chose Franklin.

“I think he is the best coach,” UW senior defensive end Alec James said this week when asked about Chryst. “A lot of coaches call themselves players’ coaches but not a lot of them are.

“He is one of those guys that really cares about us and the program at the same time. He isn’t too worried about what’s going on on the outside. You don’t see him on Twitter and that kind of stuff. He is just an old-school guy.”

Fifth-year senior tight end Troy Fumagalli was named the Kwalick-Clark tight end of the year.

Fumagalli, a former walk-on, leads UW in receptions (38) and is second in receiving yards (471) and is tied for second in touchdown receptions (four).

His blocking has helped UW average 243.3 rushing yards per game, the No. 2 mark in the league.

Tailback Jonathan Taylor was named the league’s freshman of the year.

Taylor finished the regular season No. 1 in the Big Ten in rushing at 150.5 yards per game. He averaged 7.0 yards per carry and scored 13 touchdowns.

The league’s No. 2 rusher, Ohio State freshman J.K. Dobbins, averaged 7.3 yards per carry and 99.2 per game. He has seven rushing touchdowns.

James shared a story about something he routinely notices in Chryst.

“The biggest thing that I appreciate about him and one thing I’ve noticed about him is that whenever someone is talking he is fully locked in to whoever is talking, whatever they’re saying,” James said. “He is one of those guys who gives you his full attention, really tries to soak in anything that anyone is saying. I think that makes him a better coach.”

Linebacker Chris Orr noted Chryst is so unassuming that if you didn’t know him and encountered him on campus you’d never guess his profession.

“You wouldn’t know he is the head coach of the Badgers if you just met him without any gear or anything on,” Orr said. “I would think a gym coach or a teacher. I wouldn’t think Power 5, University of Wisconsin head coach.

“He is a great coach, the best coach I’ve ever met. He is the most down to earth coach I’ve ever met.”



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