Rashad Watson elevated to defensive coordinator at MSSU

Joplin, Mo. -- Missouri Southern head football coach Daryl Daye has announced the promotion of Rashad Watson to defensive coordinator. 

"Rashad has a great defensive mind and I'm excited to have him lead our defense," Daye said. "He's very loyal and has been around and knows this system in and out. He's the logical choice and he's definitely proven his worth for this promotion." 

Watson is in his third season as an assistant coach at Southern serving as a defensive assistant each season. The 2013 MSSU defense ranked second in the MIAA in total defense, allowing just 326 yards per game and the team ranked fifth in scoring defense, allowing just 23.3 points per game. The 233 total points allowed was third-lowest in the league. Elijah Swen ranked second in the MIAA in passes defended with 1.2 per game. 

He came to Southern after serving two seasons coaching the defense at Benedict College. While at Benedict, the secondary at Benedict led all of Division II in interceptions at the end of the regular season. Free safety Marquez Gibson led the team with six while being selected first-team All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Previously, Watson came to Benedict by way of Nicholls State University. He coached the defensive backs at Nicholls having two players selected to the All-Conference Teams.  He also held the positions of NFL liaison, making way for Antonio Robinson's free agent selection and Robinson later earned a Super Bowl ring while be a part of the Green Bay Packers.

Watson spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons with Morehouse College, specializing with the secondary and assisting with special teams. During his time there, his unit produced the SIAC's 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, Jeffrey Cargile, and three All-Conference selections.

Prior to his stint with Morehouse College, Watson spent five years coaching on the prep level in Alabama. He spent 2004-05 with Anniston High, coaching both the offensive and defensive backfields, and then moved on to Midfield High where he served as the school's defensive coordinator. Watson held that post until 2007.

Watson played on the collegiate level at Alabama A&M from 1997-2001, and was a four-year letter winner, earning a starting role as a redshirt freshman. The Bulldogs' 2000 defensive unit put together one of the best season's in school history, finishing eighth nationally in total defense. The 2000 unit still holds the NCAA record for least amount of rushing yards allowed in a season (39.7 yards/game).

"I really want to praise coach Daye for showing the trust in me to elevate me to this position," Watson said. "This is not about me, it's about the players and this is a great opportunity for me and my family. My family and I love the area and it really works well for us."