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Posted on Wed, Dec 26, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Ex-UM QB Nick Sheridan home for Christmas to coach WKU in Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl

By Pete Cunningham

The bowl season can often make it difficult for college football coaches to enjoy the holiday season with their families. Former Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan, now the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for Western Kentucky, lucked out in that regard this year.

The Hilltoppers play Central Michigan in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit on Wednesday night (7:30 p.m., ESPN). A bowl game in Detroit means Sheridan, a Saline native, got to spend time with family and friends around Christmas.


Former Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan, right, is now a quarterbacks coach at Western Kentucky and will soon join Willie Taggart, left, at South Florida.

WKU Athletic Media Relations

“It’s exciting,” Sheridan said. “I certainly feel blessed to be in a bowl game in my home state around the holidays.”

While Sheridan said it would be a pleasant bonus to see family and friends around Christmas, his focus is squarely on helping the Hilltoppers end their season on a high note.

But Sheridan, his fellow coaches and the players at Western Kentucky have had some extra distractions to deal with since accepting their bowl bid. After leading the Hilltoppers to a 7-5 season and its first bowl game since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision four years ago, head coach Willie Taggart left to take the same job at South Florida. WKU has since hired Bobby Petrino, but will be under the direction of interim head coach Lance Guidry on Wednesday.

Sheridan is one of several coaches for whom Wednesday will be their last game with the Hilltoppers - along with 19 senior players. Sheridan will join Taggart’s staff after Wednesday’s game.

Sheridan said he isn’t worried about his team being distracted by all extra hoopla along with the usual bowl game distractions.

“We’re focused on our preparation and getting ready to go win a bowl game. I think it will be business as usual for us,” Sheridan said. “Afterwards we’ll reminisce and it’ll be bittersweet, but up until then our focus is the game,”


Former Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan, left, hung up his winged helmet for a coaching headset. file photo

If there’s anything Sheridan is well prepared to deal with in the world of college football, it’s change. He walked on at Michigan in 2006 after a stellar prep career at nearby Saline High School. He was a backup on former coach Lloyd Carr’s teams for two years before being thrust into a starting roll when Carr retired, Rich Rodriguez was hired and Ryan Mallet transferred.

Sheridan was the opening day starter for Rodriguez’s Michigan debut in 2008. He started in three more games that season and played in seven more before shifting back to a reserve roll in 2009. He opted to forgo his final year of eligibility in 2010 to focus on his coaching career.

This season was Sheridan’s first as a full-time coach after serving as a graduate assistant under Taggart in 2011.

Sheridan said he has aspirations of being a head coach one day, and realizes being a nomad at this time of his career comes with the territory.

“I just feel fortunate to have a job and do the best at the job I can at the job I have, which right now is with Western Kentucky,” Sheridan said. “I feel very fortunate and very excited to work for coach Tag at South Florida.”

Sheridan’s family time won’t end when he leaves Michigan for South Florida. Campus is only a half hour from where his father works. Bill Sheridan is the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“It’ll be wonderful,” Sheridan said. "I'm really looking forward to it."

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.



Wed, Dec 26, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Lets hope he is better at coaching then playing


Sat, Dec 29, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

He was an assistant at Saline for my senior year before heading to WKU. I can assure you he is a good motivator and coach, and didn't cut people down...*cough cough*