Jan. 21, 2015. Justin Watts, a 14-year Division I coaching veteran, has joined Appalachian State University’s football staff as wide receivers coach, head coach Scott Satterfield announced on Tuesday.
Watts comes to Appalachian State from Middle Tennessee, where he served as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for the past nine seasons (2006-14). During his time at Middle Tennessee, he helped lead the Blue Raiders to four bowl berths, three eight-win seasons and a Sun Belt Conference championship (2006).
Known at Middle Tennessee for developing deep corps of wideouts, Watts coached 29 different receivers that caught 25 passes or more in a season during his nine-year tenure in Murfreesboro. Four receivers that he coached rank in the top seven in Middle Tennessee history in career receptions and four are among the program’s all-time top 10 in career yardage.
As Middle Tennessee’s recruiting coordinator, Watts consistently led the efforts to land classes that ranked among the best in the Sun Belt and Conference USA. Most recently, the Blue Raiders’ 2014 recruiting class ranked third in C-USA, according to Rivals.com.
“Coach Watts is a great fit for our staff on many levels,” Satterfield said. “First, he fits in extremely well personality-wise. We spend so much time together that it’s very important that everyone’s personalities mesh and that will definitely be the case with adding Coach Watts to our staff. Second, his experience as a recruiting coordinator at Middle Tennessee is huge because recruiting is so important at the FBS level. Additionally, his ties to South Carolina, which is one of our top recruiting areas, the entire region and the Sun Belt Conference are going to pay dividends on the recruiting trail. Finally, he is an experienced and talented wide receivers coach, which is vital to our program and our offensive scheme. We’re excited to have Coach Watts on our staff and we welcome him and his family to App Nation.”
Watts began his coaching career with two seasons as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Clemson (2001-02). During his stint as a GA at Clemson, he helped lead the Tigers to a pair of bowl berths.
He landed his first full-time coaching position at Appalachian State’s former Southern Conference rival, Chattanooga, where he coached the Mocs’ wide receivers for three seasons (2003-05). At UTC, he coached NCAA Division I FCS all-American Alonzo Nix, who set a single-season SoCon record with 90 receptions in 2003, and all-conference performer Emanuel Hassell, who led the league with 52 catches in 2005. In Watts’ final season at Chattanooga, the Mocs recorded their first winning season in eight years.
Watts owns the distinction of being one of only two student-athletes to ever be a five-year football letterwinner at Clemson, a feat that he accomplished as a wide receiver from 1996-2000 (he received a medical redshirt after sustaining a season-ending injury during the 1997 campaign). He caught 51 passes for 561 yards during his career and was honored as a scholar-athlete at the 1999 Peach Bowl awards luncheon. The Tigers earned bowl berths during four of his five seasons on the squad.
A Florence, S.C. native, Watts amassed 7,979 yards of total offense and accounted for 74 touchdowns as a prep quarterback at South Florence H.S. He received a B.S. in sports management from Clemson in 2000. Watts and his wife, Lauren, have a son, Chase, and a daughter, Kendall.
WATTS AT A GLANCE
2006-14: Middle Tennessee (wide receivers/recruiting coordinator)
2003-05: Chattanooga (wide receivers)
2001-02: Clemson (graduate assistant)
1996-2000: Clemson (WR)
Alma Mater: Clemson, 2000
Hometown: Florence, S.C.
Birthdate: Oct. 1, 1977 (37 years old)