Sigh. Matt Canada was fired by NC State less than a year ago, hired by Pitt a few days later, had Pitt score the most points in the history of its program, and is now heading to LSU per Sports Illustrated
Matt Canada has accepted the LSU offensive coordinator job, a source told SI.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) December 14, 2016
Matt Canada will receive a three-year contract from #LSU at more than $1 million per year.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 14, 2016
At this point, Pitt fans should know exactly the kind of business college football is. Narduzzi hires a good friend of his after he was just fired, and is rewarded by him leaving a year later. Pitt can't offer assistants the kind of money that schools like Georgia and LSU can, and so things like this will probably keep happening until Pitt gets anywhere near that level themselves. It's kind of a Catch-22 though. You need coaches to perform at an excellent level to win games to get to that level, but how do you do that if your excellent (or not even that great of coach like Chaney) just get poached soon after? Pitt caught lightning in a bottle with Canada, and I worry that that those things have not really happened to Pitt in recent history. Pitt may be able to stretch $750 or $900k for a coordinator, but over $1 million is a lot. Narduzzi was making less than that at Michigan State, and he had a donor who specifically earmarked money for his salary. A lot has changed in three years. Maybe Pitt can pay that much, and Canada really just wanted to go to the SEC. We'll probably never know officially.
It sounds like LSU also was not the only school interested in Canada.
To be fair, him turning down other opportunities doesn't necessarily mean he even interviewed, but it's obvious Pitt had to fight off multiple schools for him.
LSU made the hire officially earlier today, and it included quotes from Canada.
"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."
"Coach O and Joe have been very clear about what they expect," said Canada. "With the talent already here and what we will recruit, we can put together one of the best offenses in the country. We’re going to develop quarterbacks, score points and bring some excitement to the offense here at LSU. And of course, we’re going to do it the right way - the LSU way."
Obviously the appeal of playing in the SEC, and having access to the best talent in the country appealed a lot to Canada.
Pitt also had a statement on Canada leaving with quotes from Narduzzi
"On behalf of our entire program, I want to thank Matt for his many important contributions, on and off the field, this past year," 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.
I'm not sure how I feel about Canada staying through the bowl game. It would be one thing if he was being hired to be a head coach, but he's making a horizontal move to another school.
Narduzzi took roughly a month to hire an offensive coordinator last time. Granted, it seems that was mostly waiting for Canada to be officially fired, but the point remains. Pitt has a few offensive recruits who are early enrollees that they could lose because Pitt doesn't have an OC in place when they make their decision. I'm not sure I agree with waiting to get the search underway. Jim Chaney was a fantastic hire on paper, and turned out to be average or even below average for Pitt. Canada was a "meh" hire on paper initially, but turned out to be one of, if not the best, that Pitt has ever had. At the least, we know Narduzzi will do his due diligence and hire somebody probably pretty decent on the surface. I have no idea who that person could be, but I'm sure you'll hear every pipedream and absolutely awful name in the book before it's over. I