Morris Watts begins his first season as Miami's offensive coordinator and his second year as quarterbacks coach. He came to Oxford on January 4, 2009.
The 2010 campaign marks his 41st year in collegiate and professional coaching.
Watts, one of college football's most innovative and experienced coaches, has been in the profession for 45 years altogether and has competed at every level of the game. Most recently (2007-08), he assisted at Broken Arrow (Oklahoma) High School. Among active collegiate coaches, only Penn State's Joe Paterno (61 years), Boston College's Gary Tranquill (47 years) and Southern California's Monte Kiffin (44 years) have been in college and pro ball longer than Watts.
He has worked with a number of all-star quarterbacks over the years. Watts' former professional signal-callers include Indiana's Tim Clifford, MSU's Jim Miller, Tony Banks and Jeff Smoker, Cliff Stoudt of the USFL's Birmingham Stallions, and Vinny Testeverde of the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Collegiately, Watts most recently spent one season at Mississippi State (2003), joining Jackie Sherrill's staff as offensive coordinator. He spent three different terms as offensive coordinator at Michigan State, first from 1986-90 and 1992-94 under head coach George Perles, then again from 1999-2002 under Nick Saban and Bobby Williams. Watts was the Spartans' interim head coach for the final three games of the 2002 season. Two of his greatest athletes included receiver Charles Rogers and running back T.J. Duckett.
In 2001, Watts was nominated for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach. MSU 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. Altogether, MSU won two Big Ten titles and made seven postseason bowl appearances.
Watts' tenure at Michigan State was interrupted by a one-year term as quarterbacks coach of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1991), where he tutored Testaverde. Watts' professional football experience also includes a stint as quarterbacks coach of the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL (1984-85).
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, served as quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for Coach Lee Corso 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.
His family includes wife, Marlene, his daughter Charlavan, and his son, Danny.