Hoosiers Add Shawn Watson as Offensive Quality Control Coach

 Shawn Watson joins the IU coaching staff.  Image: Indiana Athletics

Shawn Watson joins the IU coaching staff. Image: Indiana Athletics

IU Media Relations

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson announced Shawn Watson has joined the program as an offensive quality control coach. Watson owns 34 years of coaching experience, highlighted by stints as an offensive coordinator in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Big East, as well as a three-year run as Southern Illinois head coach (1994-96).
Wilson's familiarity with Watson dates back to Miami (Ohio), where the two worked together on the same offensive staff from 1990-93.
"I've known Shawn for a long time and am very pleased he is joining us," Wilson said. "Shawn brings a strong pedigree as a former head coach and a coordinator at the highest level. The timing is perfect for him, and we are happy to add a big time coach."
Watson served as an offensive coordinator at Colorado (2000-05), Nebraska (2007-10), Louisville (2012-13) and Texas (2014-15), where he was also the assistant head coach. He has coached in 15 bowl games.
At Louisville, Watson helped the Cardinals to a 30-9 record from 2011-13, a pair of Big East Conference Championships (2011, 2012) and three bowl appearances. He tutored Teddy Bridgewater, one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings.
Watson oversaw the quarterbacks all three seasons before taking on offensive coordinator duties. The Cardinals finished 12-1 in 2013 and led the nation in completion percentage (70.8), fewest passes intercepted (4) and fewest turnovers lost (10), and was second in third-down conversions (56.0 percent) and time of possession (33:49). The Cardinals also ranked third in passing efficiency (171.9), 16th in passing offense (314.0 yards per game) and 28th in total offense (460.8 ypg).

Bridgewater was a finalist for the Manning Award and a semifinalist for both the Maxwell and Davey O'Brien awards. He threw for 3,970 yards and a school-record 31 touchdowns with only four interceptions and led the nation with a 71.0 completion percentage.

In 2012, Louisville posted an 11-2 record, claimed a Big East Championship and finished the year ranked 13th in the BCS Standings, USA Today Coaches Poll and Associated Press Poll. The Cards capped the year with a 33-23 win over fourth-ranked Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Bridgewater was named Big East Player of the Year and ranked eighth in the nation in passing efficiency, helping the Cardinals finish No. 3 in the FBS in red-zone efficiency (93.0%), tied for sixth in turnovers lost (13), eighth in third-down conversions (49.7%) and 24th in passing offense (296.1 ypg).

Prior to Louisville, Watson spent five seasons (2006-10) at Nebraska. He directed an offense in 2010 that ranked ninth in the country in rushing (247.6 ypg) and 39th in scoring (30.9 ppg).

Nebraska's 2008 offense ranked 12th nationally in total offense (450.8 ypg), 15th in passing offense (281.0 ypg), 15th in passing efficiency (154.5 rating) and 17th in scoring (35.4 ppg).
Joe Ganz set single-season school records for total offense (3,826) and passing yards (3,568) and ranked 14th nationally in passing efficiency (153.6 rating). He finished his career with more than 20 Cornhuskers records.

In 2007, his first season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the Huskers threw for a school-record 3,886 yards, including the top three passing days in Cornhuskers history. The Nebraska offense ranked ninth nationally at 468.2 yards per game. A pair of Watson's quarterbacks - Ganz and Sam Keller - helped Nebraska rank seventh nationally in passing with a school-record 323.8 yards per game.

Watson made his first stop in the Big 12 in 1999 when he became the quarterbacks coach at Colorado. He was elevated to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the following season and spent six years (1999-05) in Boulder, helping the Buffalos win the Big 12 North Division four times, including a conference title in 2001.

Watson coached quarterbacks at Northwestern for two seasons (1997-98) after serving as head coach at SIU, his alma mater. He coached 20 all-conference players during his time with the Salukis.

Prior to SIU, he spent seven years (1987-93) as an assistant coach at Miami, where he tutored the wide receivers and tight ends for two years (1987-88), wide receivers for one (1989) and served as quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator over his final four seasons (1990-93).

Watson played three seasons in college. The native of Cardondale, Ill., spent 1978 at Illinois before transferring to Southern Illinois where he played two seasons (1979-80) as a safety.

He earned a bachelor's degree in health education from SIU in 1982, then served as a graduate assistant that season with the Salukis.

Watson went on to spend four years on Mike White's staff at Illinois. He was a graduate assistant for two seasons (1883-84) before being elevated to a full-time position. He coached tight ends and offensive tackles in 1985 and the wide receivers in 1986. During that time, the Illini won the Big Ten title (1983), their first in 20 years, and made two bowl appearances.

Watson and his wife Anita, have a daughter, Amber, and two sons, Aaron and Adam.