Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Wisconsin Badgers officially welcomed former Pittsburgh boss Paul Chryst as its new head football coach on Wednesday.

Chryst, a former Wisconsin assistant, assumes the position which was vacated by Gary Andersen, who became Oregon State's new head coach last week. He's the 30th head coach in program history.

"I was contacted or interviewed a number of coaches about this job. The head coaching position at UW is highly sought after. I'm thrilled to be able to welcome the entire Chryst family back to Madison," said athletic director Barry Alvarez.

"This is a big moment and I couldn't be more grateful and honored and appreciative of such an opportunity," said Chryst. "There is a spirit at UW that is undeniable and to be a part of it is something you don't take for granted."

The 49-year-old compiled a 19-19 record in three seasons at Pitt, which will play Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2.

The Madison native has many ties to the Badgers as he was a quarterback from 1986-88, a tight ends coach in 2002 and offensive coordinator from 2005-11.

"As great as today is ... I don't want it to be the best day," added Chryst. "With this, comes a great motivation to do the state proud."

Chryst has also worked as a tight ends coach with the San Diego Chargers from 1999-2001 and has served as an assistant at Oregon State, Illinois State and UW-Platteville.

Last week, Alvarez, Wisconsin's former head coach, announced that he will coach the Badgers for the upcoming Outback Bowl against Auburn on Jan. 1.

"I'm ecstatic to be able to bring Paul back to the Badger family. He was the first person I called when I knew we would have an opening," said Alvarez. "He brings tremendous experience, both as a head coach and offensive coordinator, and knowledge of our program to the job. He is one of the best offensive minds I have ever come across and I think his consistent results show that."