Louisville has officially hired former Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson as its new quarterbacks coach. He replaces Mike Groh, who left after one year to go to Alabama.
Watson spent five years at Nebraska, including the past four as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. A 29-year coaching veteran, Watson drew heavy criticism from Huskers fans when the offense struggled, especially late in the 2010 season, and he was not retained this season by Bo Pelini. But he has a strong overall résumé and was strongly considered for the head-coaching vacancies at Miami of Ohio and Vanderbilt this offseason. The addition of Watson -- who was once the head coach at Southern Illinois -- gives the Cardinals two former head coaches on the offensive staff, as playcaller Mike Sanford was the head coach at UNLV.
"I feel Charlie [Strong] is building something special at the University of Louisville and it's a very exciting time to be a part of that staff," Watson said in an official release from the school.
The quarterbacks coach position takes on added significance for the Cardinals this season as they must find a new starter. True freshman and early enrollee Teddy Bridgewater is a leading candidate, but he must learn the college game quickly. Watson helped Nebraska redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez have early success in 2010 until Martinez was slowed by injury.
Watson has also coached at Colorado, Illinois, Northwestern, Miami of Ohio and Southern Illinois during his career.