DB / Special Teams
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Drew Watson completed his seventh overall season at Newberry and fifth as its secondary coach in 2017. He is also responsible for coordinating Newbery's special teams. Watson is in his second coaching stint at Newberry, having previously roamed the Setzler Field sidelines in 1989 and 1990, and returned to his alma mater after spending the 2012 season as the Defensive Coordinator at Presbyterian.
Watson led a secondary that saw Jawanza Adams named second team all-South Atlantic Conference and was instrumental to Newberry's entire defense being named SAC Defensive Player of the Week during the final week of the season, marking the first time in five seasons a unit or position group was given a SAC weekly award. The Wolves held Mars Hill's offense to 280 yards below its season average while tying a 24-year-old SAC record with six interceptions. The nation's sixth-best passing attack was limited to 8-for-25 for 63 yards in the game, while their passer rating of 5.3 was the lowest for any Newberry opponent on record. The nation's second-leading receiver caught two passes for 15 yards.
The special teams units also excelled in 2017. The Wolves racked up four weekly conference awards: a SAC award by Shea Rodgers, an ECAC accolade by Kevin Weber, and a sweep in both leagues by Chance Walker. Rodgers made all of his kicks and had an impressive punting average at Lenoir-Rhyne, Weber nailed what was at the time Newberry's longest field goal in 17 years against Virginia University of Lynchburg, and Walker became the second SAC player of the last 26 years and sixth overall to return a kickoff 100 yards for a score at Virginia Union.
The 2016 season saw Newberry capture its third SAC championship with a 10-2 record and earn a bid to the NCAA Division II Football Championship for the third time in four seasons. Newberry ranked No. 1 in the nation by allowing one total punt return yard during the entire 2016 campaign. The Wolves' kickoff return defense was 13th nationally at 17.11 yards allowed per return.
Rashaad Smith earned second team all-SAC honors as a defensive back, leading the team with 10 passes defended and tallying three interceptions. In all, Newberry defensive backs finished the season with 10 total interceptions and 20 pass breakups.
Prior to his time at Presbyterian, Watson was at Coastal Carolina for 10 seasons coaching the safeties. In 2010 he was responsible for coaching outside linebackers and has assisted with special teams during his time in Conway. From 2002-07 Watson served as Coastal's recruiting coordinator and came in to help build the Chanticleer football program from its inaugural year in 2002.
During Watson's stint, the Chanticleer defense ranked among the Big South's best in pass defense. In 2009, the team ranked 15th nationally and was second in the league. The team led the Big South in 2008, 2007, 2006 and ranked second in 2005. Coastal Carolina ranked fourth in the nation in interceptions with 21 picks in 2009, after ranking first in 2006 with 19 in 2004 with 27.
Watson coached NFL safety Quinton Teal, who was a two-time second and third team All-American, as well as Academic All-American Marcus Lott. He also recruited current San Diego Charger Mike Tolbert, 2007 All-American Honorable Mention Marrio Norman and his brother, 2011 First Team All-American Josh Norman.
From 1990-2002 Watson was an assistant coach at Wofford. During his 12 season with the Terriers he split his time coaching the running backs and the offensive line. He also assisted with the special teams and was part of the staff that made the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I in 1995, as well as the move to the Southern Conference in 1997.
While Watson was at Wofford, the team led the nation in rushing offense and made the NCAA Division II Playoffs two separate occasions. In 1997 he coached All-American center Dan Williams.
Prior to Wofford, he served as the secondary coach at Newberry during the 1989 and 1990 seasons, and assisted with special teams.
Watson graduated Newberry College with a degree in business administration in 1989. He was a four-year letterwinner and three year starter at cornerback and earned Second Team NAIA All-American honors and First Team All-South Atlantic Conference honors as a senior, as well as the team's Most Valuable Player award. As a junior, he was named Honorable Mention All-American.
A native of Anderson, Watson is married to the former Melanie Dillingham of Newberry and has three children - Cole, Cate and Anna.