Geep Chryst, now in his fourth year as Carolina's tight ends coach, oversaw a group in 2009 that had the most productive pass-receiving season for Panthers tight ends in 10 years as the trio of Jeff King, Dante Rosario and Gary Barnidge combined to total 63 receptions for 755 yards and five touchdowns. The unit also contributed to a running game that saw Carolina become the first team in NFL history to have two running backs each rush for more than 1,100 yards in the same season.
Chryst has a played an important part in the development of King, Rosario and Barnidge - all of whom have been drafted by the Panthers since 2006. In Chryst's first year as tight ends coach in 2007, King had the best season for a Carolina tight end since Wesley Walls in 2001, catching 46 passes for 406 yards and two touchdowns. Of Rosario's 50 career receptions, 35 (70.0 percent) have yielded a first down or touchdown. Barnidge, in his second year as a pro in 2009, averaged 20.2 yards per catch on 12 receptions for 242 yards.
In his 18th year as an NFL coach, Chryst took over the tight ends during his second season with the Panthers and also serves as the team's quality control assistant for the offense. Coaching stops in Chicago, Arizona (twice) and San Diego have left him more than prepared. Five times Chryst has been part of an offense that has ranked in the top 10 in the league in rushing and three more times he has been involved in an offense that has ranked in the top 10 in the league in passing.
Chryst spent five seasons with the Bears as director of research/quality control from 1991-95, three seasons with the Cardinals as tight ends coach from 1996-97 and quarterbacks coach in 1998, and two seasons with the Chargers as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 1999-2000 before returning to the Cardinals in 2001.
From 2001-03, Chryst served as quarterbacks coach for Arizona, where he was reunited with quarterback Jake Plummer, who he previously tutored in 1998. Under Chryst's guidance in 2001, Plummer threw 18 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions after having 45 passes picked off the previous two years. He only had two interceptions in his final 245 pass attempts and none in a span of 142 consecutive throws. In 1998, Plummer ranked fourth in the NFL in passing, and the Cardinals won their first playoff game in 51 years.
Prior to working with the Cardinals quarterbacks, Chryst coached Arizona's tight ends. Under his tutelage, Pat Carter registered 26 receptions for 329 yards in 1996, the best production by a Cardinals tight end since 1989. The next season, Chris Gedney caught four touchdown passes, the most by a Cardinals tight end since 1988.
While with San Diego, Chryst was instrumental in the implementation and development of the team's productive, no-huddle offense. In 1999, the Chargers completed the most passes (332) in 13 years, and quarterback Jim Harbaugh enjoyed the second-highest passing output of his 15-year NFL career and became San Diego's first quarterback since Hall of Famer Dan Fouts to pass for 400 yards in a game.
Playing and Personal
Chryst was a three-year starter at linebacker for Princeton in addition to playing baseball for two seasons for the Tigers. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Princeton and added a master's degree in educational administration from Wisconsin.
Linebacker Princeton 1981-84. Pro tight end/longsnapper: Orlando Thunder (WLAF) 1992. College coach: Wisconsin-Platteville 1987, Wisconsin 1988, Wyoming 1989-90. Pro coach: Orlando Thunder (WLAF) 1991, Chicago Bears 1991-95, Arizona Cardinals 1996-98, 2001-03, San Diego Chargers 1999-2000, joined Panthers in 2006.