New OC Sounds Like a Good One

LINK: Watson to Pitt


February 2, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Shawn Watson Named Pitt Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach

Watson has an accomplished résumé on the offensive side of the ball.

PITTSBURGH—Shawn Watson, a 35-year coaching veteran who owns an extensive and accomplished record overseeing offenses on the collegiate level, has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Pitt by Pat Narduzzi.

Watson previously served as offensive coordinator at Texas (2014-15), Louisville (2012-13), Nebraska (2007-10) and Colorado (2000-05). He also has head coaching experience on his résumé, serving in that capacity at his alma mater, Southern Illinois, from 1994-96.

Watson joins the Panthers from Indiana, where he spent the 2016 season as an offensive quality control assistant before being named the Hoosiers’ quarterback coach. His Pitt appointment serves as a reunion with Narduzzi. The pair previously worked together on the late Randy Walker’s staff at Miami (Ohio) from 1990-92.

“Shawn Watson was one of my first mentors in this business,” Narduzzi said. “He sat me down as a young coach and taught me how to work with wide receivers in my first full-time job at Miami in the early 1990s. Ever since that time, we have always talked about being able to reunite on the same staff again. I’m really thrilled that the time has finally arrived and he’ll be joining us at Pitt as our new offensive coordinator.

“Shawn is, first and foremost, a wonderful person and father,” Narduzzi added. “As a football coach, he is extremely knowledgeable, an excellent recruiter and will be a tremendous strength in the quarterback room and offensive staff room. I’m really looking forward to having Shawn and his wife Anita join us in Pittsburgh.”

“I am tremendously honored and excited to join the staff at Pitt and be part of what Pat Narduzzi is building there,” Watson said. “Pat is one of my closest and dearest friends. I’ve known him for a very long time and have always admired the passion and energy he brings to coaching and teaching. Pat and his staff have accomplished so much in such a short period of time at Pitt. I can’t wait to join them, meet our players and get ready for spring ball.”

Watson counts among his protégés Minnesota Vikings quarterbackTeddy Bridgewater, who he coached for three seasons at Louisville (2011-13). Under Watson’s guidance, Bridgewater became one of the nation’s most dazzling players while the resurgent Cardinals went a combined 30-9 during that three-year span and claimed two Big East championships.

In 2013, Louisville stormed to a 12-1 record as Bridgewater threw for 3,970 yards and 31 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He led the nation in completion percentage (71.0%) and was a finalist for the prestigious Manning Award. The Vikings’ first-round selection in the 2014 draft, Bridgewater went on to be named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.

Prior to Louisville, Watson spent five seasons (2006-10) at Nebraska. His work helped the Cornhuskers annually rank among the nation’s most productive offenses.

In 2010, Nebraska ranked ninth nationally in rushing (247.6 avg.), while averaging more than 30 points per game. Nebraska’s 2008 offense ranked 12th nationally in total offense (450.8 avg.), 15th in passing yards (281.0), 15th in pass efficiency (154.5 rating) and 17th in scoring (35.4 avg.). In 2007, Watson’s initial season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Nebraska threw for a school-record 3,886 yards, ranking seventh in the nation in passing yards (323.8 avg.) and ninth in total offense (468.2 avg.).

Cornhuskers quarterback Joe Ganz set 23 school records under Watson’s guidance, including single-season marks for total offense (3,826), passing yards (3,568), completions (285) and completion percentage (67.9%).

Watson coached at Colorado from 1999-2005, helping the Buffaloes claim four Big 12 North Division titles and a conference championship in 2001.

That 2001 Colorado team will forever be remembered for its 62-36 demolition of No. 2 Nebraska in the regular-season finale, followed by a thrilling 39-37 win over No. 3 Texas in the Big 12 title game to earn a Fiesta Bowl berth. Watson’s offense ranked eighth nationally in rushing (228.5 avg.) and 20th in total yards (434.4 avg.).

Watson coached quarterbacks at Northwestern during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. His appointment in Evanston came after serving three years as head coach at Southern Illinois, where he coached 20 all-conference players. Watson himself was a safety at SIU (1979-80) and began his coaching career as a Salukis graduate assistant in 1982.

His additional coaching stops include Miami of Ohio (1987-93) and Illinois (1983-1986).


Personal Information
September 21, 1959
Carbondale, Ill.
Alma Mater:
Southern Illinois, 1982
Family: Watson and his wife, Anita, have three children: daughter Amber and sons Aaron and Adam.

Coaching Experience
Southern Illinois, 1982 graduate assistant.

Illinois, 1983-84, graduate assistant; 1985, tight ends and offensive tackles; 1986, wide receivers.

Miami (Ohio), 1987-88, wide receivers and tight ends; 1989, wide receivers; 1990-93, quarterbacks and recruiting coordinator.

Southern Illinois, 1994-96, head coach.

Northwestern, 1997-98, quarterbacks.

Colorado, 1999, quarterbacks; 2000-05, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks.

Nebraska, 2006, tight ends and recruiting coordinator; 2007-10, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks.

Louisville, 2011, quarterbacks; 2012-13, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks.

Texas, 2014-15, assistant head coach for offense and quarterbacks.

Indiana, 2016, offensive quality control; quarterbacks (bowl game).

NOTE: Here is the ‘last word’ on Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class. Narduzzi closed with a bang by getting two excellent recruits on Signing Day itself.

Here they are…

RB A.J.Davis

Heavily recruited running back with more than 25 “Power 5” scholarship offers…selected an Under Armour All-American…rushed for 5,398 yards during his Lakeland career…as a senior, compiled 1,498 yards on 187 carries (8.0 avg.) with 16 touchdowns…only player in Lakeland history to lead team in rushing four consecutive years…Polk County’s leading rusher in each of his final three seasons…playing under Coach Bill Castle, led team to a three-year record of 28-7 (.800) with Florida Class 7A playoff berths each season…in seven career playoff games, Davis rushed for 1,195 yards, including a 231-yard effort on just 14 carries (16.5 avg.) in an opening-round game his senior year…Associated Press Florida All-State Class 7A…The Ledger Large School Offensive Player of the Year…named to the ESPN 300 (No. 140) and Rivals 250 (No. 247)…rated the nation’s No. 14 running back prospect by ESPN and Rivals, No. 21 by 247Sports and No. 28 by Scout…in the 2017 Under Armour All-America Game played in Orlando, helped Team Armour to a 24-21 win over Team Highlight.

DL Jaylen Twyman

One of the most heavily recruited players in the Washington D.C. area who distinguished himself as a run stopper and pass rusher…compiled 91 tackles and eight sacks as a senior…led H.D. Woodson to an 11-2 record, the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) championship and the D.C. State Class AA final…as a junior, had 62 tackles and nine sacks…helped the Warriors to a combined 31-10 record (.756) and DCIAA titles in each of his final three varsity seasons…selected an MVP in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl all-star game played in Atlanta…named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Washington D.C. Football Team…Washington Post All-Met…All-DCIAA Stars…rated the No. 4 overall prospect in Washington D.C. by ESPN and No. 5 by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports…played under Coach Greg Fuller

Big article about the POV Festivus tomorrow morning…




138 thoughts on “New OC Sounds Like a Good One

  1. Look, we are all inquiring minds, after-all, who comments on blogs and message boards? That’s right, opinionated SOB’s. We all would like to know what in the Sam-Hell took so long to hire this guy? I guess we may never know. …but once I thought about it, what does it matter? He could very well be plan Q for all we know and he could also have been sitting in Narduzzi’s back pocket for awhile. So I guess what I am saying is, it was only us PITT fans that show zero patience waiting for the announcement. We are the ones that I sure as hell wouldn’t want coaching a team in the final minutes when cool and calm is called for. It’s like the basketball articles. PITT plays terrible and there are comments out the wazoo, they play good the past few games and all is quite on the PITT BB front. Half the problems with PITT is staring right back at all of us in the mirror….. but it’s so much fun!! I wouldn’t have it any other way…. ike



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