SMITHFIELD, R.I. – One of the best defensive players in program history is coming home as Bryant University football head coach Chris Merritt has announced the addition of Marquise Watson '17 to the football coaching staff.
Watson will serve as the defensive line coach and run game coordinator.
"I'm excited to hire one of Bryant's all-time greats," Merritt said. "He bleeds Black and Gold and will bring an energy to our program!"
Watson enjoyed one of the greatest defensive careers in Bryant history, graduating in 2017 as the program's all-time leading tackler with 256. He played in 43 of a possible 44 games during his career, finishing with 6.5 sacks, 28.5 tackles for a loss and four forced fumbles. Watson was the starting middle linebacker on the 2014 Bulldog team that was nationally-ranked and finished fifth in the country in scoring defense (16.1) and ninth in total defense (299.9). After posting 71 tackles as a middle linebacker in 2015, he switched positions as a senior captain and earned First Team All-NEC honors as a defensive lineman, posting 53 tackles.
"I'm excited to come back to the University that made me the man I am today," Watson said. "I can't wait to give back and serve for the next generation of great Bulldogs!"
Watson returns to Smithfield after spending the 2018 season as a defensive assistant at Rutgers University. He worked primarily with the defensive line at Rutgers, helping the group post 12.5 of the 16 total sacks for the Scarlet Knights this fall.
In 2017, Watson coached the running backs and served as the video coordinator at Amherst College. He coached the NESCAC leader in rushing touchdowns and also produced a pair of All-NESCAC selections.
Watson earned his bachelor's degree in communication from Bryant in 2017. A native of Hillside, N.J., he was a graduate of Paramus Catholic High School.