It has begun to circulate that Matt Canada is the leading candidate to replace Walt Bell as Offensive Coordinator, so who is he?
Canada has been around college football as an assistant since 1994, when he was a graduate assistant at Indiana. Since then, he has bounced around a number of programs, with his longest tenure being seven season at Indiana from 2004-2010.
Most recently, Canada was the offensive coordinator at LSU, under Ed Orgeron. Due to some miscommunications and conflict, Canada and LSU agreed to part ways after just one season. Orgeron told the The Advocate, “As the head coach, you have to make tough decisions. I chose to go in a different direction in order to get where I believe we need to be as a program.”
The school paid $1.7 million, which was half of his $3.3 million buyout, but the number could fluctuate depending on his salary at a new school. Walt Bell was the highest paid assistant at Maryland, but still made just barely over $500,000 per year.
Canada’s offense could be a solid refreshment for Maryland fans. In 2016, while at Pittsburgh, their offense averaged nearly 447 yards per game in a truly balanced attack. Those number would be a 125 yard improvement over Bell’s scheme last season.
The pro-style offense would most likely thrive under the command of Kasim Hill, and allow him to focus on passing and pre-snap motions rather than constantly rushing the ball. The return of Ty Johnson, Lorenzo Harrison, and the potential of Anthony McFarland could result in a seamless transition.
The time Maryland fans saw a pro-style offense was back in 2007, when then Head Coach Ralph Friedgen was in charge of the offense as well. Canada could be instrumental in the revival of an offense that has not lived up to it’s potential for years.
Canada would provide some Big Ten experience, especially in recruiting. He was the primary recruiter for a few high-level talents, and being back in his home conference will only help.
The only big question is if the LSU situation was strictly situational, or is it prone to happen again. The last thing Maryland needs is a feud between coaches while trying to compete in the toughest division in college football.