The quarterback coach position has grown so much so in the last 10 years, that nearly every school in the country now has one.
The question then becomes whether it is best to have your offensive coordinator also serve as quarterbacks coach. USF has moved in that direction this spring, with Todd Fitch taking over quarterback responsibilities. Three other teams in the Big East also have offensive coordinators that serve as quarterbacks coach -- Mike Bajakian at Cincinnati, Shawn Watson at Louisville and Nathaniel Hackett at Syracuse.
Rutgers assistant Frank Cignetti handled both positions last season, but those duties have now been split under new coach Kyle Flood.
Each head coach makes his own choices on these matters, and it really just seems to be a matter of preference and comfort level. Fitch, for example, had worked with the quarterbacks while he served as offensive coordinator at East Carolina for three seasons. When he came to USF as offensive coordinator, he initially worked with the running backs before making the switch this offseason.
"There's no doubt that when you sit in that meeting room, and you are talking through a scenario or a play or whatever it may be, you have immediate feedback from the quarterback," Fitch said in a phone interview. "You can get a read on him in the meeting room, then see what happens on the practice field. There's no doubt that day-to-day feedback and his reactions will give us a better feel for what he feels comfortable doing. You can ask a player and he'll say, 'I'm good with that coach,' and maybe he doesn't want to admit I don't like that one as much as the other one. When you're in those learning environments, it absolutely helps to be around."
Watson served as quarterbacks coach for the Cardinals before being promoted to offensive coordinator. His close relationship with Teddy Bridgewater has helped in the development of the quarterback.
"He is one of the best players I've ever had the privilege to coach," Watson said earlier this spring. "This guy really gets it easy. He's not a finished product. He has a lot of things to improve on. But he gets it. He works, he's a relentless worker. Can he do it? I think he can be a great player if he continues to push himself. The one area he needs to is grasping the entire offense."
USF quarterback B.J. Daniels is close with Fitch as well.
"I can go in and sit down and eat lunch, talk about school, talk about life," Daniels said. "It will be fun to hear things from Coach Fitch's mouth because he's the one calling the plays. I don't think it will be too much of a difference. I improved a lot last year under coach (Peter Vaas). Right now, I'm excited to see how Coach Fitch helps me out, and looking forward to improving under him."