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January 27, 2007

Watson officially named NU offensive coordinator

Nebraska Head Coach Bill Callahan announced on Saturday that Shawn Watson has been promoted to the position of offensive coordinator with the Husker football program.

Watson joined the Nebraska staff a year ago and tutored Nebraska's tight ends and served as the Huskers' recruiting coordinator during the 2006 season. Watson brought success to the position, as four different Husker tight ends caught at least two touchdown passes and the group combined for 10 touchdowns.

In addition to serving as the Huskers' offensive coordinator, Watson will also take over duties as Nebraska's quarterbacks coach.

"Shawn has proven himself as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on the collegiate level, including great success in the Big 12 Conference at Colorado," Callahan said. "He has an excellent offensive mind and has worked in this type of offensive system for a number of years. Shawn is also extremely organized and detail-oriented, and I am excited to having him lead our offensive unit."

Watson is eager to get started in his new role with the Nebraska coaching staff.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity Bill has given me, first to join the staff a year ago, and now to work in the capacity of coordinator," Watson said. "I am looking forward to next season and working with a very talented offensive group."

The Nebraska offense finished in the top 25 nationally last season all four major offensive categories, including 14th in total offense at 414.6 yards per game, and 17th in scoring offense at 30.6 points per game.

Watson brings an impressive set of credentials to the offensive coordinator position. Before joining Callahan's Nebraska staff, Watson spent seven seasons on the Colorado coaching staff, including the final six years as the Buffs' offensive coordinator. Like Nebraska, Colorado implemented a West Coast offensive system in Boulder, and Watson helped the Buffs to four Big 12 North Division titles in his final five seasons.

Under Watson's guidance, Colorado showed its flexibility and the ability to adapt to its offensive talent. Colorado ranked 20th nationally in total offense in 2001, and was only the third team in CU history to average both 200 yards rushing and passing.

After relying on a ground-oriented attack in both 2001 and 2002, the 2003 CU team featured a prolific passing attack, ranking 18th nationally at nearly 280 yards per game. Colorado's 2004 team produced a 1,000-yard rusher and 2,000-yard passer for just the second time in school history. Watson also had great success with the Buff quarterbacks, including three-year starter Joel Klatt who re-wrote the Colorado record book under Watson's tutelage.

Watson has 25 years of overall collegiate coaching experience, including three seasons as the head coach at Southern Illinois from 1994 to 1996. In addition to his time at Nebraska and Colorado, he has also served as an assistant coach at Northwestern, Miami (Ohio), Illinois and Southern Illinois.

Watson replaces Jay Norvell, who left Nebraska after three seasons to assume the offensive coordinator post at UCLA. Callahan expects to complete the process of filling the open assistant position on his staff after National Signing Day on Feb. 7.


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