- Associated Press - Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wisconsin’s coaching search will last until at least Wednesday, even if the Badgers have already zeroed in on a candidate or two.

Amid reports that Pittsburgh coach and former Badgers assistant Paul Chryst has emerged as a leading candidate, athletic director Barry Alvarez released a statement Friday that Wisconsin state law prevents the university from making an offer to anyone before Wednesday.

The job posting went up Thursday after coach Gary Andersen’s departure a day earlier for Oregon State.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported that Alvarez met with Chryst in Florida on Thursday, where Alvarez was attending an Outback Bowl promotion. The newspaper cited an unidentified source. Pittsburgh officials said Chryst was in Florida recruiting earlier in the week.

Alvarez on Thursday also met with former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano while in Florida, a person familiar with the informal meeting told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Wisconsin was not making public any part of its coaching search.

USA Today first reported the meeting between Alvarez and Schiano.

Schiano is out of coaching this season, but looking to get back in. He spent 2012 and ‘13 with the Bucs before being fired.

Schiano coached 11 seasons at Rutgers, directing a remarkable turnaround of a program that was among the worst in Division I-A when he took over. He guided Rutgers to winning records in six of his final seven seasons.

Alvarez will coach the Badgers in the bowl against Auburn on Jan. 1.

Chryst is a Madison, Wisconsin, native who did stints as co-offensive coordinator, tight ends coach and quarterbacks coach with the Badgers. He’s also a former Badgers quarterback.

He is 19-19 at Pitt, including 6-6 this season with a game against Houston coming up Jan. 2 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

The Panthers began bowl preparations Friday with a light workout at the end of finals week. Chryst spoke to the team before practice but declined to address reporters. He is in the third season of a five-year deal he signed when Pitt hired him to replace Todd Graham in December 2011. While Chryst has spoken to Pitt officials about an extension, no agreement has been reached.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP

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