Eli Zaret talks with new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier
Doug Nussmeier enters his first season as Michigan's Sanford Robertson Offensive Coordinator and quarterbacks coach following two seasons in the same capacity at the University of Alabama, where he helped lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 2012.
Nussmeier has been instrumental in the development of quarterbacks during his coaching career, mentoring Alabama's AJ McCarron, Washington's Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans) and Keith Price, Michigan State's Drew Stanton and Jeff Smoker and the St. Louis Rams' Marc Bulger.
Meanwhile, in his six seasons as an offensive coordinator, Nussmeier's offenses also have managed to produce six 1,000-yard running backs.
During Nussmeier's two seasons at Alabama, the Crimson Tide offense was one of the most balanced units in the country and set school records in most offensive categories.
Alabama set records for rushing and passing touchdowns, total points scored and total offense during the 2012 national championship season. In addition, the Crimson Tide led the nation in pass efficiency. The 2012 campaign marked the first time in school history that Alabama rushed and passed for 3,000 yards each in a single season.
The Crimson Tide continued their offensive efficiency in 2013. Alabama was seventh nationally in pass efficiency and 17th in both scoring offense and third down percentage. The Tide averaged over 200 yards on the ground and through the air. McCarron was eighth in pass efficiency after leading the nation the previous year, and in two seasons under Nussmeier, he passed for 5,996 yards, 58 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, while completing over 67 percent of his passes.
The Washington Huskies offensive unit improved statistically in each of Nussmeier's three seasons. The offense doubled its scoring output during his first season (2009), led by the passing of Locker and running of Chris Polk. The production was better in 2010, with a balanced attack that gained 2,238 rushing yards and 2,475 passing yards. Polk gained 1,415 rushing yards, the second-best total in school history, and Locker completed his career ranked first or second in every major passing category. Locker was the eighth overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.
In his final season at Washington, the offense scored 57 touchdowns and 434 points to finish with the second highest totals in school history; behind only the 1991 national championship team. Nussmeier coached first-year starter Price, who set school records for passing TDs, completion percentage and pass efficiency. Price was seventh nationally in pass efficiency and Polk ranked 16th nationally in rushing.
Nussmeier was the offensive coordinator at Fresno State during the 2008 season. Prior to joining the Bulldogs staff, Nussmeier was the quarterbacks coach for the St. Louis Rams. He mentored Bulger, who led the Rams to the league's fourth-rated passing offense in both 2006 and 2007. Bulger was named to the Pro Bowl in 2006, finishing the year with 4,301 passing yards, 24 TDs and only eight interceptions.
Before his coaching stint with the Rams, Nussmeier was the quarterbacks coach at Michigan State for three seasons (2003-05). Stanton threw for a then school record 3,415 yards in 2005, breaking the record of Smoker, who threw for 3,395 yards in 2003. Both signal callers were tutored by Nussmeier.
He began his coaching career in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Nussmeier was the quarterbacks coach for the British Columbia Lions in 2001 and was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Ottawa Renegades in 2002.
Nussmeier was drafted in the fourth round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He played four seasons with the Saints (1994-97) and one with the Indianapolis Colts (1998). Nussmeier helped the British Columbia Lions win the Grey Cup Championship in 2000 before retiring to join the coaching ranks.
As a collegiate player at the University of Idaho, Nussmeier passed for 10,824 yards and averaged 309.1 yards of total offense per contest. He is one of only four quarterbacks in NCAA history to pass for 10,000 yards and rush for 1,000 during his career (Steve McNair, Daunte Culpepper and Colin Kaepernick are the others). Nussmeier won the Walter Payton Award in 1993, the Division I-AA's version of the Heisman Trophy, and he was named the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year in 1992. Nussmeier was inducted into the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
An Oswego, Ore., native, Nussmeier attended Lakeridge High School and earned his bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Idaho in 1994.
Nussmeier and his wife, Christi, have two sons, Garrett and Colton, and a daughter Ashlynn.