Watson joins Strong's staff

Louisville coach Charlie Strong announced the hiring of Shawn Watson, who served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Nebraska the last three seasons, as Mike Groh's replacement as the Cardinals quarterback coach.

Louisville coach Charlie Strong announced that he has hired a replacement for former quarterback coach Mike Groh, who left for an assistant coaching position on Nick Saban's Alabama coaching staff earlier this month.

Shawn Watson, who served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Nebraska the last three seasons, will replace Groh as the Cardinals quarterback coach. Prior to that, Watson served as Colorado's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1999-2005.

A former head coach at Southern Illinois, Watson has worked with quarterbacks at the Division 1 level since 1990. In addition to handling the quarterbacks at Colorado and Nebraska, Watson also served as quarterbacks coach at Miami (OH) and Northwestern.

"I'm excited to join the staff at the University of Louisville, " said Watson. "I knew Charlie Strong and the entire staff were quality coaches and great character guys. I feel Charlie is building something special at the University of Louisville and it's a very exciting time to be a part of that staff. I'm looking forward to getting started and getting to know the players."

Mentioned as a candidate for the head coaching jobs at Vanderbilt and Miami (OH ) this off-season, Watson will play a key role in the development of talented freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who enrolled at Louisville this semester and is expected to be the starting quarterback for the Cardinals next season.

Watson, 51, has recent experience working with young quarterbacks. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska's redshirt freshman quarterback, was one of college football's breakout stars in 2010. Martinez, a dual-threat quarterback like Bridgewater, accounted for 2,520 yards of total offense, the sixth-best mark in Nebraska history. Martinez rushed for more than 900 yards and 12 touchdowns, while completing 58 percent of his passes for 1,578 yards and nine scores.

While Bo Pellini and Nebraska fans placed much of the blame for the Huskers diminishing offensive results last season on Watson, the longtime offensive coach would bring a wealth of experience to Strong's staff.

Watson, along with offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, would give Strong another assistant on offense with Division One head coaching experience. Watson's experience should benefit Teddy Bridgewater tremendously, especially that the true freshman QB would be able to work this spring with the former Nebraska offensive coordinator.

The Watson File

Date and Place of Birth: Born: Sept. 21, 1959, in Carbondale, Ill.

Family: Wife, Anita; Children, Amber, Aaron and Adam

Education: Southern Illinois Carbondale, Bachelor's, health education, 1982; High School: Carterville (Ill.) High School

Playing Experience: 1978, Illinois; 1979-80, Southern Illinois

Coaching Experience: 1982, Southern Illinois (graduate assistant coach); 1983-84, Illinois (graduate assistant coach); 1985, Illinois (assistant coach/tight ends and offensive tackles); 1986, Illinois (assistant coach/wide receivers); 1987-89, Miami (Ohio) University (assistant coach/tight ends); 1990-93, Miami (assistant coach/quarterbacks, recruiting coordinator); 1994-96, Southern Illinois (head coach); 1997-98, Northwestern (assistant coach/quarterbacks); 1999, Colorado (assistant coach/quarterbacks); 2000-2005, Colorado (assistant coach/offensive coordinator, quarterbacks); 2006, Nebraska (assistant coach/tight ends, recruiting coordinator); 2007-10, Nebraska (assistant coach/offensive coordinator, quarterbacks)

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