IU to hire Nick Sheridan as quarterbacks coach

Former Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan will be hired as Indiana’s next quarterbacks coach, multiple sources confirmed to The Herald Times on Friday.

Sheridan took a job as Central Michigan’s running backs coach in January. Now, he’s headed to Bloomington.

The 28-year-old will replace Shawn Watson, who was only permanently installed as IU’s quarterbacks coach a month ago. Watson left the program Thursday to become the new offensive coordinator at Pitt. Coachingsearch.com first reported Sheridan’s move to IU.

Sheridan played quarterback for the Wolverines from 2006 to 2009, appearing in 12 career games and making four starts during the 2008 season. Sheridan’s time at Michigan overlapped with Mike DeBord, Indiana’s new offensive coordinator, who held the same position with the Wolverines during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

A Saline, Mich. native, Sheridan got his first coaching job in 2011 as a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky before getting promoted to quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator in 2012. He left to take a similar job at South Florida in 2013.

Sheridan reconnected with DeBord at Tennessee, where he worked as a graduate assistant from 2014 to 2016

Though he’s still relatively new to the profession, Sheridan has a coaching pedigree. His father, Bill, is the Detroit Lions’ linebackers coach and has been coaching at every level from high school to the NFL since 1981.

Sheridan’s hiring fills one hole on IU’s staff, though new coach Tom Allen must still fill another.

Allen said on Wednesday that he hopes to have a new offensive line coach in place within the next week. Former offensive line coach Greg Frey was recently hired by Michigan to fill a similar position in Ann Arbor.


  1. I coached a kid who was a walk on QB at UNC. Very smart guy. Never played a snap in 4 years. Took a job as a graduate assistant at BC working with the tight ends. Two years later he became the QB coach for the Miami Dolphins. Still there. I believe this is his 5th year with the team. Same age as our new QB coach.

    Everybody comes from somewhere.

  2. From the little bit I’ve picked up he essentially worked as the untitled QB coach for DeBord at UT. I do like the fact he is a young exQB and has experienced RR, Taggert and our OC’s offense in the past. Have obvious concerns with recruiting network, experience and know how. That has to be considered a downgrade.
    Darren Hiller is the new OL coach. Has some history with Allen while at Arkansas State. He is certainly experienced. Originally from California also spent a year or so coaching in Nevada. Also certain his recruiting credentials are well below Frey’s. For sure he’ll be working with the best talent at OL he has ever had.

    1. I’ll give Wilson credit, he was able to hire Frey, Allen and Hagen. All three were experienced coaches that made an instant impact on the team. I hope Coach Allen doesn’t just hire guys he’s worked with that can “grow into the job.” I worry that Deland McCullough will be the next to get hired away. He’ s turned IU into RBU. It’s only a matter of time before other schools with bigger budgets try to hire him away.

  3. Watson and the I U job was just a position for him until as assistant job opened up, Watson had too much going for himself to be a position coach. When the 10th coaching position gets approved it’s approval will help the grad assistants get a paying job and more stability to their lives

  4. I give Coach Wilson credit for hiring some good coaches but let’s not pretend he didn’t hire some poor ones as well.

    It’s been hit and miss in that respect.

    I’ve come to realize that football players are not the only individuals that a head coach needs to be constantly recruiting. A good head coach is probably always looking over everybody else’s staff to see if there is someone they would like to poach, whether you are Ohio State or Indiana. Then they have to find the right buttons to push because it’s not always going to be about money. Assuming he’s the right guy for the job I believe that Coach Allen’s Indiana connections may keep him from taking the next step up the ladder unless he’s given an offer he can’t refuse.

  5. I’m not concerned about Sheridan’s youth and relative inexperience. The key is that he’s had a lot of direct experience with his boss, both as a player and as “coach.” They’ll be on the same page. His youth may actually provide some benefit, in both coaching and recruiting. And my guess is that he’ll stay in Bloomington for three or four years.

    As for IU’s best coaches getting poached by wealthier football schools, the more success IU has, the more it’s going to happen. While being as proactive as possible in trying to provide competitive compensation so as to minimize undesired departures, the truth is that IU defines “competitive” compensation as the mean, or average, in the Big Ten Conference. We simply don’t have the revenue or cash reserves to compete with the wealthiest college athletic department budgets in the country. It’s not whether Glass could “find” the money to keep one coach on staff if he had it to spend (which he does not), it’s about that coach’s colleagues then expecting to get paid in a similar fashion. The one-off exception may be affordable from time-to-time, but over the longer term, it would not. According to USA Today, Total Assistant Football Coaching Compensation at the start of the 2016 football season, which included “the sum of university and non-university compensation” paid to the team’s assistant coaches, excluding the strength coaches, IU’s total assistant coach compensation was ranked 96th out of 120 public (private universities are not required to divulge compensation information) university FBS programs, with a spend of $2,751,661. In contrast, Michigan’s spend for assistant coaches, which was ranked 17th in the country, was $4,308,750. To put it into a more personal perspective, Allen was IU’s highest paid Assistant Coach in 2016, with IU’s total spend at $501,000, which included IU’s cost to buy out Allen’s contract at Southern Florida. Michigan’s top paid assistant coach in 2016 was Don Brown, who received $880,000 in 2016, but who just got a raise to $1.4 million per year for five years. Michigan’s Tim Drevno was paid $850,000 last year, but it was recently reported that Michigan just gave Drevno a new five-year contract that pays him $1.3 million per year. So when you have Michigan paying position coaches $850,000 per year, it’s not hard to understand why it was impossible for IU to prevent Frey from bolting to Ann Arbor. Not that IU will ever be able to match Michigan’s football revenue, but the next time you see 18,000 empty seats inside Memorial Stadium, you’ll have a better understanding of why IU really can’t keep it’s best football coaches in Bloomington.

  6. I think most of the guys can coach good enough for IU. The biggest concern is RECRUITING and player +coaching character

  7. IU’s coaches have connections across the Eastern/Midwest/South [including Texas] of the country so recruiting will be good. A younger QB coach will have Debord and Heard with QB coaching in the past to lean on if he needs to have help. The new OL coach has connections in the South so it helps IU getting players from the South along with Hearns that has connections in the South. Hiller has experience coaching the OL and while at a subdivision school he had one NFL drafter player and 5 undrafted players make it in the NFL. His players talk well about despite yelling at them most of the time. They say they listen to the lessons and learn the position.

    Coach Allen hires coaches he knows or his coaches know and they treat players well and get along with the players. It will be interesting to see how the team comes together and what the new offense will look like. I hope they don’t delay the offense for Lagow and make him compete with the younger QBs. Tronti is a team player that is a big reason he is rated as a three star.

  8. The best thing IU can do to improve recruiting is to produce a winning season. We’ve had a bunch of IU players go into the NFL in the last three years, and we’ll probably have at least two more this year, so that’s not a problem. But losing seasons and fan apathy still make it hard for IU to compete in recruiting. Ironically, we now have confidence that we’ll have a good defense, but we have doubts about the offense (QB). If we get back to a high octane offense, IU will be an exciting tea to watch.

  9. Well, if IU does hire Hiller, that will be a big F-U to the University of Houston, given that he was just hired there on January 6th, 2017. I found it interesting that Hiller spent ten years at Arkansas State as their Offensive Line coach. But he’s worked for some good programs since leaving there.

  10. Hiller has a really impressive resume and seems to me as an excellent hire. It seems as though every time I look at credentials or resume on a coach especially football, most all of them seem to have really excellent credentials or resume.

  11. Maybe the criteria used to assess Assistant Coaching candidates for IU should include how long will they stay in Bloomington? Based on his resume, Hiller seems to be a good choice for O-line coach. Hopefully, he views the job at IU as a major step up for his career and will not immediately begin looking for the next, higher-paying job.

    I found Frey’s comments, as recently published by the Detroit Free Press (1/29), saying that it took him about 18 seconds to accept Harbaugh’s offer to be very interesting. Frey was/is a fan of Harbaugh (“This is the guy I wanted to work for, the guy that I believe in.”) And since he was “starting over” with a new head coach at IU, why not double his compensation and work for a program capable of winning a national championship. I’m sure the extra $500,000 per year had very little to do with it.

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