Paul Chryst affirms commitment to Pitt

Pitt coach Paul Chryst released a statement Tuesday night affirming his commitment to the Panthers, shortly after Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema was hired at Arkansas.

Chryst said:

“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.”

Chryst was hired at Pitt last season after spending seven seasons with the Badgers. He played football at Wisconsin, too. When reports surfaced that Bielema was headed for Arkansas, many began placing Chryst at the top of the Badgers' wish list because of his deep-rooted ties there, and his success as offensive coordinator.

Seeing this statement has to come as a welcome relief to Panthers fans, who may have started to panic that their program would be looking for their fifth coach in four years.