Sherrill Names Watts, Campbell To Offensive Staff

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University head football coach Jackie Sherrill announced Thursday the hiring of Morris Watts and Steve Campbell as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator/quarterback coach and offensive line coach, respectively, pending approval by the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning.

Watts, 64, comes to MSU from Michigan State University, where he served as offensive coordinator for the past four seasons. He was the Spartans' interim head coach for the final three games of the 2002 season.

During this past football season, Michigan State averaged over 28 points per game and was a balanced offensive unit (384 rushes, 345 passes). Under Watts' direction, Spartan wide receiver Charles Rogers earned all-America recognition. He caught a school-record 68 passes in '02 and was presented the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's premier pass catcher. Watts also oversaw the development of Spartan quarterback Jeff Smoker, who will enter his senior season in '03 with 40 career touchdown passes.

In 2001, Watts was nominated for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach. Michigan State led the Big Ten in passing offense (a school-record 292.5 yards per game) and total offense (447 yards per game), and was third in scoring offense (31.2 points per game) that year. That total offense mark was the second-best average in school history. Not only did Smoker throw for 2,579 yards, complete 63 percent of his passes and rank sixth nationally in pass efficiency, Spartan tailback T.J. Duckett rushed for 1,420 yards. That Spartan team finished the season with a 7-5 record, defeating Fresno State in the Silicon Valley Bowl, 44-35.

Under Watts' tutelage, Smoker became the first true freshman to start at quarterback at Michigan State since 1982 and Duckett eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time in his career (1,353 yards) in 2000. Watts helped lead MSU to a 10-2 mark that year, a record that included a 37-34 win over Florida in Citrus Bowl.

In 1999, Watts' first year of his third stint in East Lansing, Michigan State gained an average of 368.2 yards per game in total offense and tallied 31.5 points per game.

Watts first went to Michigan State as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 1986. From '86 through '90, the Spartans compiled a 37-19-3 record, won two Big Ten titles and made four postseason bowl appearances.

His 1986 passing offense yardage total with Michigan State still ranks among the school's all-time best. The '87 Spartan squad were conference champions and beat Southern California 20-17 en route to a 9-2-1 overall mark. The following two seasons, Watts helped his team to a Gator Bowl postseason berth against Georgia and to a 33-13 victory over Hawaii in the Aloha Bowl. And in 1990, Michigan State was again Big Ten champions, posted an 8-3-1 mark, and beat Southern Cal in the John Hancock Bowl.

His tenure at Michigan State was interrupted by a one-year stay as quarterbacks coach of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he tutored Vinny Testaverde. Following that one year in the NFL, Watts was assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in East Lansing, Mich., from 1992-94. Watts' professional football experience also includes a stint as quarterbacks coach of the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL (1984-85).

Before his most recent stint at Michigan State, Watts spent four years at LSU, where he helped the Tigers to a combined 31-16 record from 1995-98, including a school-record three consecutive postseason bowl triumphs. Under his direction, the Tigers won back-to-back Southeastern Conference rushing titles (1996-97) and produced three of the highest-scoring teams in school history. The '95 LSU team beat Michigan State 45-26 in the Independence Bowl, the '96 squad capped a 10-2 season with a victory over Clemson in the Peach Bowl, and the '97 Tigers beat Notre Dame 27-9 in the Independence Bowl to culminate a nine-win campaign. He also worked with the quarterbacks in Baton Rouge in 1983.

Watts was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Kansas in 1982, was quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Indiana (1973-81), was offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Louisville in 1972, and at Drake (1965-71). Watts helped Indiana to the 1979 Holiday Bowl, one of 11 postseason classics in which he has coached.

A 1961 graduate of the University of Tulsa, Watts played running back for the Golden Hurricane. He earned a master's degree from Pittsburg (Kan.) State in 1964.

A native of Seneca, Mo., he is married to the former Marlene Kay Hughes of Pawhuska, Okla. The couple has two children, daughter Charlavan, and a son Danny, plus three grandchildren.

Campbell can boast national championship credits as both a player and a coach at the collegiate level. He comes back to the Magnolia State and to Mississippi State University from Middle Tennessee State where he served as the Blue Raiders' offensive coordinator and offensive line coach this past year.

Under his guidance, Middle Tennessee scored three or more touchdowns eight times during the '02 season, defeated Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., and dropped a narrow season-opening 39-34 game at Alabama. The Blue Raiders averaged 25 points, more than 200 yards rushing, and 154 yards passing per game.

During this past season, MTSU tailback Dwone Hicks gained more than 1,000 yards rushing and wide receiver Tyrone Calico caught 45 passes and was invited to the postseason Senior Bowl all-star classic. Multi-talented quarterback Andrico Hines accounted for 16 touchdowns.

Prior to going to Middle Tennessee, Campbell was the 2000 Division II National Coach of the Year after leading Delta (Miss.) State to the D-II national title. He directed the Statesmen to a 14-1 overall mark and to the Gulf South Conference championship.

That title-winning campaign was the culmination of an outstanding three-year stint as the head coach at the Cleveland, Miss., based institution. He compiled a 27-8 overall record, including 20-7 within the GSC, during his tenure. Campbell¹s .771 winning percentage was among the best in school history and he left DSU ranked fifth on the school's victory list for head coaches and fourth in conference wins.

Prior to going to Delta State, Campbell served three seasons, the final two as head coach, at Southwest Mississippi Community College. He was named head coach in 1997 after serving the prior season as running backs coach. During his two years at the head of the program, Campbell's teams posted a 12-8 mark. Campbell's final SWCC team registered a 7-3 record, the school's first winning season in 12 years.

During his time at Southwest Mississippi CC, Campbell tutored three junior college all-America players and had 25 players sign Division I scholarships during his two years as head coach. His offense led all Mississippi junior colleges in rushing yardage both years. Campbell served as the head coach of the South squad in the '98 MACJC All-Star game, leading his team to a 13-12 victory.

Campbell began his coaching career in 1988 with two seasons as a graduate assistant at Auburn under legendary Tiger coach Pat Dye. The Tigers finished those seasons with identical 10-2 marks overall, 6-1 in the Southeastern Conference, and claimed a pair of SEC championships during his two years on the Plains. Auburn played in the 1989 Sugar and 1990 Hall of Fame Bowl games, defeating Ohio State 31-14 in the latter.

Campbell began his first stint at Delta State following that Auburn experience. During his initial three-year stay at DSU, he served two seasons as the offensive line coach and one as the offensive coordinator.

He left Delta State following the '92 season for Nicholls (La.) State, where he spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator for Rick Rhoades, for whom he played collegiately at Troy State University. Campbell departed Nicholls for Southwest Mississippi Community College.

Campbell was a four-year starting center at Southeastern Louisiana (1984-85) and Troy State (1986-87). He was a member of the '87 Troy team that claimed the NCAA Division II National Football Championship with a 31-17 win over Portland State. He was a first-team, all-Gulf South Conference selection that same season.

He earned his bachelor's degree in economics from Troy State in 1988 and gained his master's degree while at Auburn in 1990.

The Pensacola, Fla., native is married to the former Shellie Norton, also of Pensacola, and they have two children, a daughter Kelsie, and a son Steven.

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