Chryst-B1G Coach of the Year

Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst and his sideline celebrates a touchdown during the second quarter of a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. M.P. KING, STATE JOURNAL

M.P. KING

The Big Ten announced more than a dozen individual awards Thursday, but there wasn't much debate over who would be named the the conference's consensus coach of the year.

The University of Wisconsin's Paul Chryst won both the Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media) and the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches) awards after leading the fourth-ranked Badgers (12-0, 9-0) to an undefeated regular season and a second straight Big Ten West title.

"I think he's the best coach," UW defensive end Alec James said. "He's one of those guys that really cares about us. A lot of coaches call themselves players' coaches, but not a lot of them are. This is one of those guys that really does care about us and the program at the same time and isn't too worried about what's going on on the outside.

"You don't really see him on Twitter or anything, doing that kind of stuff. He's kind of just an old-school guy, and I think he's done a great job."

It marked the second straight season that Chryst earned the award from the conference's coaches. The media awarded Penn State's James Franklin with the honor last year.

Chryst owns a 33-6 record in three years at UW, which enters Saturday's Big Ten Championship game against Ohio State just one win from a berth in the College Football Playoff.

He served as tight ends coach for the Badgers in 2002 and 2005 and became the program's offensive coordinator from 2006-2011.

Chryst, a Madison native, left UW to take the head coaching job at Pitt from 2012-14, where he compiled a 19-19 record, before returning in 2015 as the Badgers' head coach.

UW senior Troy Fumagalli won the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year Award after catching 38 passes for 471 yards and four touchdowns this season.

He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from coaches Wednesday but was named to the media's second team behind Penn State's Mike Gesicki.

Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor took home the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year Award, a victory even less surprising than Chryst's coaching honors.

Taylor, a consensus All-Big Ten first team selection, won the conference's Freshman of the Week a record eight times this season on his way to 1,806 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

He's even place himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation, although Penn State's Saquon Barkley edged him out for Running Back of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year honors in the Big Ten.

"We'll let all those (awards) be handled by the people who make the choices," UW offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said Tuesday. "Jonathan will be the first person to tell you, the only thing he's got on his mind is this week (against Ohio State), as all of us do."