Louisville has needed a permanent offensive coordinator since it parted ways with Mike Sanford four games into the 2011 season. Now, it appears that the man that stepped in and took over the duties midseason will keep that job for good. Shawn Watson, originally hired as the team's quarterbacks coach, will be named the team's offensive coordinator according to a report from C.L. Brown with the Louisville Courier-Journal. Watson's offense improved as the season progressed and his relationship with freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the desire for continuity was likely a large factor in the decision to keep him.
There had been speculation that Strong would tap a former coach from his days at Florida for the job. The speculation had centered about LSU assistant Billy Gonzalez. Strong and Gonzalez worked together under Urban Meyer at Florida. After Gonzalez agreed to become the new offensive coordinator at Illinois this week, the sentiment turned to Strong keeping Watson. Watson was previously offensive coordinator at Nebraska (2007-2010) and Colorado (2000-2005). Louisville will now likely hire a full time tight end coach with the vacancy on its coaching staff. No names have surfaced for those position.