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Personality Test: Paul Chryst

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Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

After two seasons as the head football coach of the University of Pittsburgh, Paul Chryst's Midwestern sensibility and work ethic seem to be winning new fans.

“If I were a parent, I'd send my kid to play for him,” says three-time NFL Pro Bowler Steven Jackson of the Atlanta Falcons, who played under Chryst at Oregon State.

Sports are in his DNA: His late father, George Chryst, was a longtime head football coach at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a former Wisconsin player and assistant coach. Brother Rick Chryst was commissioner of the Mid-American Athletic Conference. Brother Geep Chryst played football and baseball at Princeton and is quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers.

Paul Chryst came to Pittsburgh in December 2011 after an eight-year tenure at the University of Wisconsin. During his six seasons overseeing the offense, the Badgers annually ranked among the best in the country. This is the Madison, Wisc., native's first head coaching experience at the collegiate level.

He has quickly embraced Pittsburgh, and its people, as his home. Chryst was recently named an honorary trustee for the St. Anthony Charitable Foundation, which raises funds for children with intellectual challenges and autism.

Chryst's philosophy: “Players don't care how much you know until they see how much you care.”

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:

Jack Nicholson. If he can play the Joker in “Batman,” he can play anyone!

Childhood hero:

Former Purdue and NFL quarterback Mark Herrmann. I met him when I was in junior high and he worked at my father's youth football camp.

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

My baseball-card collection. I'm sure there would be some rare cards in there.

The superpower I wish I had in real life:

Being invisible. Imagine the possibilities on game day.

I can't live without my iPod, cellphone, DVR or laptop:

I can live without any of them.

Favorite guilty pleasure:

Being a guest on the 93.7 The Fan Morning Show

Best mistake I've ever made:

Listening to questions asked by our radio sideline reporter, Gregg Giannotti, at halftime

Something I would do over if I could:

Marry my wife again. I love her, and she is the mother of our three wonderful children.

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

I like every team that wears Pittsburgh's Black and Gold.

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

When I was a kid, Steelers center Mike Webster was my original favorite Pittsburgh sports athlete. My dad recruited and coached him in college.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Big Jim's in Greenfield

Top thing on my “bucket list” to do before I'm gone:

I'm not ready to leave yet or think about a bucket list!

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:

Good people

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

My late father, George, and I'd ask for an extra chair so that my children could meet their grandfather

Favorite brunch food:


My quirkiest inherited trait:

Just like my dad, my eyes water when it gets cold outside

Exercise I hate most:


My favorite sandwich:

Peanut butter and honey sandwich

One word my mother would use to describe me:

Honest (sometimes to a fault)

Saturday mornings, you'll find me:

In the off-season, I'll be at home with my “honey-do” list.

The movie that always makes me cry:

“The Lion King”

I'm deathly afraid of:


My favorite reality show:

“Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel

The first band I saw in concert:

Pure Prairie League , Dubuque, Iowa, early 1980s

The best concert I've ever seen:

Kenny Chesney, Heinz Field, 2013

If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:

They wouldn't even let me in the door to audition because I can't sing.

The last book I read:

“The Traveler's Gift” by Andy Andrews

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:


My most-embarrassing junk food:

Scooby Snacks

My favorite cable channel:

The Discovery Channel

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:


My childhood nickname:

“Heimer” … from the children's song “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt”

What you'll always find in my glove compartment:


TV marathon I could watch all day:

“Deadliest Catch.” These guys have to make a living while fighting 50-foot waves and hurricane winds. They're incredible.

My most-memorable fashion mistake:

Every time I get dressed up!

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

Pitt's Cathedral of Learning

My favorite “bad” movie:

“Strange Brew” with Bob and Doug McKenzie

My first job:


The song that always gets me out on the dance floor:

No comment on dancing.

If I could tour with any band:

Country music singer Phil Vassar

People would be surprised to know that:

I am a college- and pro-hockey fan.

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