UNI Panthers

UNI football hires Shawn Watson as offensive assistant

Southern Illinois alum had been offensive quality control coach at Georgia

Northern Iowa Panthers
Northern Iowa Panthers

CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa football coach Mark Farley confirmed to The Gazette Thursday afternoon that former Georgia offensive quality control coach Shawn Watson has been hired as an offensive assistant.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier was first to report the hiring.

Watson began his coaching career in 1982 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Southern Illinois. He’s since had 11 coaching stops, including offensive coordinator duties at Colorado (2000-05), Nebraska (2007-10), Louisville (2011-13) and Pitt (2017-18).

Watson returned to Southern Illinois in 1994 as the Salukis head coach for three seasons, compiling an 11-22 record.

Farley told The Gazette that Watson’s experience was a large factor in his pursuit of the veteran assistant. Farley added that Watson is expected to help add to an offense led by young assistants who guided quarterback Will McElvain to a freshman program record 2,778 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019.

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