RINDGE, N.H. (June 27, 2017) – Franklin Pierce University Director of Athletics Rachel Burleson has announced Rashad Watson has been named the second head coach of the University's sprint football program. Watson, who takes over the head coaching position on an interim basis for the 2017 season, fills the position vacated by Pete Ewald, who resigned earlier in June.
"It is an honor to serve as the head sprint football coach at Franklin Pierce University," said Watson. "With the help of Dr. Kim Mooney [the University's president], Athletic Director Burleson, and the football staff, my goal is to continue to move Ravens football forward with an exciting and competitive brand, which will spark and motivate fans and the student body alike."
Franklin Pierce will mark the first head coaching stop for Watson, though he and Burleson are no strangers to each other. Watson comes to Rindge via Missouri Southern State University -- which was also Burleson's last stop -- where he spent the previous five seasons. While with the Lions, Watson spent time as the recruiting coordinator (2012-13), the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach (2013-14), and as the special teams coordinator and secondary coach (2012 and again from 2015-17). While in Joplin, Watson coached nine all-conference selections and also contributed to the campus community away from the field, as he served on MSSU's Athletics Gender Equity and Minority Committee.
Watson also brings professional football experience with him to Franklin Pierce. In the summer of 2014, he served as the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship Coach with the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs. In the role, he worked with the Chiefs' linebackers, secondary and special teams units during the team's summer training camp. In addition, in 2015, Watson spent time working with the NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy, which, per ncaa.com (more information), provides NCAA coaches and former NFL players "the opportunity to expand their knowledge and insight into the world of college football coaching."
"Coach Watson is a great addition to any university and community, and we are lucky to have him at Franklin Pierce," said Burleson. "He brings knowledge, professionalism and excitement to our sprint football program. We look forward to the great places he will lead our team."
Watson played four years collegiately at Division I FCS member Alabama A&M University, from 1997 to 2001. Between his time as a student-athlete with the Bulldogs and his most-recent coaching stint with the Lions of MSSU, Watson crisscrossed the southeastern portion of the country building his coaching résumé. In 2007-08, he served as the defensive secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Morehouse College in Atlanta. In 2009, he held the same position at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. In 2010-11, he worked as the defensive secondary coach and assisted with special teams at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Prior to embarking on his collegiate coaching career, Watson spent time as a teacher and assistant football coach at a pair of Alabama high schools.
"This is a great opportunity to explore this beautiful part of the country," continued Watson. "I look forward to not only expanding my football family tree, but my collegiate family as well."
Originally from Bessemer, Ala., Watson is a two-time graduate of Alabama A&M, with a bachelor's degree in business management and a master's degree in business marketing. Currently hailing from Webb City, Mo., Watson will relocate to the greater Rindge area over the summer and will make his sideline debut with Franklin Pierce on Sept. 16, when the Ravens play host to Mansfield.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce sprint football apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).