Feb. 6, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson has been elevated to the offensive coordinator position and Sherrone Moore has been named the tight ends coach, Cardinals' head coach Charlie Strong announced on Monday.
Strong also announced that assistant Dave Borberly, who is in third season as the offensive line coach, has been tabbed as the running game coordinator.
Watson, who served as the quarterbacks coach with the Cardinals last season, took over the play-calling duties after four games into the season and helped turn around the offense. Under Watson's guidance, the Cardinals increased their scoring output from 18.8 points per game to 23.3 and scored 24 or more points in five of the last eight games, including a season-high 38 in a win over nationally ranked West Virginia.
"I'm very grateful for the opportunity that Charlie (Strong) has given me at the University of Louisville," Watson said. "I'm looking forward to working with this outstanding staff and a good nucleus of young and talented players."
Prior to joining the staff at Louisville, Watson served four years as the offensive coordinator at Nebraska, where he directed an offense in 2010 that ranked ninth in the country in rushing at 247.6 yards per game, including four games where Nebraska ran for more than 300 yards in a game.
Under Watson's guidance in 2009, Nebraska averaged 147.1 rushing yards per game averaged 175.7 yards through the air. Zac Lee, who was in his first season as a starter, completed nearly 60 percent of his passes. Watson's balanced attack a year earlier averaged 169.8 yards per game on the ground and 281.0 yards in the air, as the Huskers' 450.8 yards of total offense per game ranked 12th nationally. With Watson at the helm of the offense, senior quarterback Joe Ganz set single-season school records for total yards (3,826) and passing yards (3,568) in 2008. He threw for 25 touchdowns, while completing 67.9 percent of his passes, finishing his career with more than 20 NU records.
Watson was promoted to offensive coordinator prior to the 2007 season, when the Huskers threw for a school-record 3,886 yards, including the top three passing days in school history. The Nebraska offense ranked ninth nationally at 468.2 yards per game, NU's best average since 1997. A pair of Watson's quarterbacks helped Nebraska rank seventh nationally in passing with a school-record 323.8 yards per game.
Moore has been on the Cardinals' staff for three years as an offensive graduate assistant, working for Strong and former head coach Steve Kragthorpe. Moore has spent time working with the offensive line, and took over the tight ends position midway through last season after Mike Sanford and the Cardinals mutually agreed to separate in October.
"This is a great opportunity for me and I'm very excited for this challenge," said Moore. "I'm excited about working with coach Watson and trying to win another BIG EAST championship. I had a great chance to work with the tight ends toward the end of last year, and I'm excited about the challenges ahead with this young group."
Moore was an offensive guard at Oklahoma from 2006-08, guiding the Sooners to a pair of Big 12 Championships and two BCS bowl games. He was an All-Big 12 academic performer after transferring from Butler County Community College, where he played offensive tackle for two seasons and was an All-Conference performer.
The Cardinals are slated to open spring practice on March 21.