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  • Peter Miller

SGG episode #22: Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst breaks backboards…and builds football teams


Coaches are important educational leaders in our schools, communities, and universities. The Sport and the Growing Good (SGG) podcast provides embedded, front-line insights on winning and positive development. The SGG podcast can be heard here and on all major podcast platforms.

Paul Chryst is the head football coach at the University of Wisconsin. He’s led the team to great heights, both on the field and off. Recognized as a leading mind in the game, Coach Chryst serves as a model from whom other coaches in Wisconsin and beyond can learn. In this episode of the SGG podcast, we discussed:

1.  Shattering the backboard during a high school basketball game.

2.  Noticing high school football programs that have organized “systems” and passion around their programs.

3.  His impressions of the benefits and potential problems associated with the growing private coaching industry.

4.  Being the “young guy in the staff room” for many of his formative years as a coach.

5.  What he looks for when hiring young coaches.

6.  How he organized all the coaching information he picked up over the years.

7.  Deek Pollard’s motto: “It’ll feel better after it quits hurting” … and Coach Chryst’s emphasis on working hard and having fun together.

8.  Why he wanders among the players during each day’s pre-practice stretching time.

9.  Starting over on Sundays each week during the season.

10.  Listening to other coaches, and asking the right questions at the right time.

11.  Continually seeking new and better ways to coach and lead.

12.  “Football brings us all together, but at the end, if all we have is football, then we’ve missed something.”