Watson takes offensive coordinator job at Pitt

Shawn Watson’s run as Indiana’s quarterbacks coach was a short one.

Pitt announced Thursday that it has hired Watson as its new offensive coordinator one month after Watson was permanently installed in his previous role at IU. Watson served as the Hoosiers’ offensive quality control coach during the 2016 season, and previous worked as a coordinator at Texas (2014-15), Louisville (2012-13), Nebraska (2007-10) and Colorado (2000-05).

Watson told reporters early last month that he was looking forward to working with longtime friend Mike DeBord, IU’s new offensive coordinator. At Pitt, Watson will reunite with another friend in head coach Pat Narduzzi, with whom he worked on the late Randy Walker’s staff at Miami of Ohio from 1990 to 1992.

“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.”

Watson was promoted to quarterbacks coach in an interim role after Allen took over as head coach on Dec. 1, and Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow praised Watson for his guidance during the build up to IU’s appearance in the Foster Farms Bowl in December. While introducing Watson as IU’s permanent quarterbacks coach in early January, Allen joked that he calls Watson the quarterback professor for his ability to break down the position.

Now, Allen will be looking for a new teacher.

Allen currently has two open staff positions after former offensive line coach Greg Frey took a similar position at Michigan last week. During Wednesday’s signing day press conference, Allen told reporters he hoped to have a new offensive line coach in place within a week.

“Guys are going to get other jobs,” Allen said. “It’s part of the profession. They get opportunities, guys that are position coaches want to be coordinators, guys that are coordinators may have a chance to be head coach. Those things are going to happen.”


  1. Not surprised. Given the positions he had before arriving in Bloomington, I figured he’d last one year at most.

  2. Strange I can’t get to the log on page from my PC.
    I agree about Watson. When he did not get the OC gig along with the QB I knew he was a short-timer.

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