Dan Enos had no doubt who his next offensive coordinator would be when Mike Cummings left for the same job at University of Connecticut last week.
The Central Michigan head football coach announced the promotion of former quarterbacks coach Morris Watts to the vacant OC role late Tuesday. Watts will continue his duties as quarterbacks coach in addition to leading the entire CMU offensive unit.
“He knows our players and knows the game of football very well,” Enos said. “When you have a guy like (Watts), there was no thought to look elsewhere.”
Watts’ most recent stint as an offensive coordinator came in 2010 when he coached Miami (Ohio) to a 2010 Mid-American Conference Championship and a bowl victory.
“He will continue to be the quarterback coach,” Enos said. “It makes it better for everybody. When the quarterbacks and the coordinator are together, that kind of cuts out the middle man.”
The 80-year-old was on double duty at Michigan State in 2002 as well, where he led the offense and coached quarterbacks at the same time. He served as interim head coach for three games the same season when MSU fired head coach Bobby Williams.
Watts said he never assumed getting the CMU OC job was a given once Cummings left.
“I was comfortable with whatever transpired,” Watts said. “When I took the job at Miami, I didn’t care what happened and I ended up being the coordinator there. Same thing here, I just wanted to be involved in football.”
Nevertheless, Watts said he is excited for his new and larger role in Mount Pleasant.
“Naturally, I was pretty excited when coach Enos asked me,” he said. “It’s a chance to get more involved with things and that’s what I’m used to. I can hopefully contribute even more now to keeping this thing going in the way it’s going.”
Watts said working with freshman quarterback Cooper Rush for two seasons will benefit the Chippewas in 2014.
“I got him as he came here. He needs to improve in a couple of ways,” Watts said. “Cooper needs to get his arm strength up. But I am confident that he will be able to improve in our system even more now than before.”
Rush finished in the top-5 in MAC passing yards per game in 2013 with 213.5.
Enos said it is premature to anticipate any further coaching changes for the Chippewas.
“It’s a little too early to tell yet,” Enos said. “All us head coaches always tend to hold our breath this time of year. If someone is offered a job somewhere else and they want it, it’s hard to tell them no.”
Another offensive promotion
In addition to Watts’ advancement, Enos has hired former tight ends coach Butch Barry to offensive line coach.
“When I talked to people around the team, everyone thought Butch was the right guy to coach our offensive line,” Enos said.
Barry has been tight ends coach at CMU for four years. Last season, he coached all of CMU’s tight ends, which caught 31 passes for a combined 341 yards and three touchdowns as a unit.