It’s officially “Eaux Canada” with an exclamation point instead of a question mark.
Following burgeoning speculation over the past few days, LSU confirmed Wednesday morning in a press release that Ed Orgeron has hired Matt Canada as his new offensive coordinator. The announcement comes after Canada spent most of Tuesday meeting with Orgeron and the rest of his coaching staff.
Reportedly, Canada turned down three other Power Five jobs to accept LSU’s offer.
Canada, who will be officially introduced at a 2:30 p.m. ET press conference this afternoon, was given a three-year contract that will be worth more than $1 million annually. Last season at Pittsburgh, it’s believed Canada was paid in the neighborhood of $600,000.
“When I first sat down with Joe Alleva and we mapped out a plan for LSU football, we agreed that we were going to demand excellence on both sides of the ball,” said Orgeron in a statement. “We want a defense that’s impenetrable and an offense that’s exciting and unstoppable. Anyone who wants to play football at the highest levels is going to want to play at LSU.”
Given Orgeron’s experience on the other side of the ball, and the presence of one of the most respected defensive coordinators in the game still on his staff in Dave Aranda, the offensive coordinator was thought to be the most important hire of the new head coach’s tenure — especially when the offensive woes of the last few years are factored in. Based on 2016, the football program should be cautiously optimistic Orgeron nailed the hire.
Canada, an Indiana native, just completed his first regular season as the coordinator at Pitt. In 2016, Canada directed an offense that averaged 14 points per game more than the Panthers did a year ago and has already set a program record for most points scored in a single season with a bowl game still remaining. He was the only offensive coordinator named as a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the top assistant coach in the country.
Since his first FBS coordinating job at Northern Illinois in 2003, Canada has been a coordinator at Indiana (2007-10), back at NIU again (2011), Wisconsin (2012) and North Carolina State (2012-15) before landing at Pitt for what turned into a one-and-done.
“We have a real opportunity under Coach Orgeron to propel LSU football to another level,” Canada said. “The chance to put together a high-powered offense with the athletic ability available at LSU and the leadership of Coach ‘O’ is incredibly exciting. I’ve long-respected Coach Orgeron’s ability to recruit, lead and motivate. What he did as head coach at LSU under difficult circumstances was really impressive. I’m thrilled to be a part of the vision for the program.”
Canada is expected to remain with Pitt through the Pinstripe Bowl matchup with Northwestern Dec. 28.
“On behalf of our entire program, I want to thank Matt for his many important contributions, on and off the field, this past year,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “It was important that Matt remain with our team through the bowl game and he had no hesitation about that. He wants to send this team, and especially our seniors, out the right way. Our search for a new offensive coordinator will fully begin after the bowl. Our primary focus is on a successful completion to the 2016 season.
“When you hire great people and have success, your staff will always be in demand. I’m confident we will find another outstanding person and professional to continue our momentum.