1. Assembling a great staff- While only half the staff has been announced, Chryst has had an excellent start. Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bob Bostad is one of the best offensive line coaches in the country and new assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach Joe Rudolph is considered one of the best recruiters in the country. Neither of these statements are hyperbole. Both are well known facts. Why is Rudolph, a former offensive lineman, the new quarterbacks coach? Well, let's be honest. No matter what titles Rudolph and Bostad have, the offense will be Chryst's baby. I expect him to formulate the game plans (with help from his staff, of course) and to call the plays. He's one of the best play callers in the business and that's why he was hired in the first place. Therefore, there's no reason to take him away from that. So expect Rudolph to be quarterbacks coach in name, but what he'll really be is a recruiter extraordinaire.
On defense, new coordinator Dave Huxtable has had some excellent defenses at Central Florida and as a linebacker coach he's shown to be one of the best in the business. Hiring former Mt.Lebanon head coach Chris Haering as linebackers coach was another excellent idea. Expect Haering to not only be a good coach (he was an All-American linebacker in college), but he's also well respected and liked amongst WPIAL coaches so as a local recruiter he could be excellent.
Running back, wide receiver, defensive line, and defensive backs coaches are still needed and one of those will be presumably be the recruiting coordinator also. If Chryst can add young hungry coaches and recruiters in those spots then his staff will be a grand slam.
2. Recruit the best of PA immediately- First Chryst has to hold on to the best of the 2012 class and that doesn't seem to be a problem. Then he must finish off the 2012 class with some quality players. It remains to be seen who the staff will add to finish off the class but a strong finish would be a huge bonus going into next season.
Then comes the 2013 class. This class will go a long way in determining Chryst's success at Pitt. Central Valley wide receiver Robert Foster, Clairton safety Tyler Boyd, North Allegheny guard Patrick Kugler, and tight end Adam Breneman from the Harrisburg area are all nationally elite prospects at their positions and if Pitt can somehow manage all four, or at least three, then the new staff would have accomplished two things- one, adding talent of a top ten team, and, two, showing the rest of the programs, and prospects, that Pitt is a program to be reckon with.
The time is right for such a recruiting push. The talent in PA is excellent in 2013, Penn State figures to struggle in recruiting, and the buzz of Chryst's (and Bostad's and Rudolph's) reputation from their time at Wisconsin is very high right now. Combined with the fact that a new coach means a chance to play a lot early (that's why new coaches often get a big time class right off the bat) and Chryst can really get Pitt good in a hurry if he can land the big fish in PA.
3. Coach 'em up- Chryst has proven that he can take some okay prospects and turn them into college stars, and Bostad has done the same. As long as Chryst continues to run the offense and as long as Bostad continues to coach up the linemen, there is no reason why they can't do the same at Pitt, who will actually have better prospects than Wisconsin had.
With a healthy Ray Graham, an incoming Rushell Shell, and a few other pretty good backs, the running game should be excellent. Hubie Graham should thrive in the new offense and the tight end position is deep. The offensive line was poor this season but Chris Jacobson should back, Tom Ricketts can finally play, and Bostad is the king of making something out of nothing. The passing game may need more work but if anybody can get anything out of the quarterbacks it's Chryst.
On defense, Huxtable will be given free reign since Chryst's speciality is offense. That puts a lot of pressure on him so it's important that he comes through. The secondary should be good in 2012, but the front seven is going to need a lot of new, young players to come through. Huxtable had two All-Big Ten linebackers this year, one a junior and one a sophomore, so he knows how to get the most out of his younger players. The three projected starting linebackers- Juan Price, Todd Thomas, and LaQuentin Smith- are all sophomores, and Huxtable's coaching will be put to the test immediately. If he can turn that trio into very good players immediately, the defense could be very good right off the bat, and that will mean more wins in year one.