Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi apparently did not think much of former Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s decision to leave the program for LSU after the 2016 season, and on Monday morning, a video of him blasting his former employee at the 2019 Nike Coach of the Year Clinic emerged.
Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi does a number here on Matt Canada.— that SEC podcast (@thatSECpodcast) August 31, 2020
Canada left Pitt for LSU but as we all know, that didn’t last very longpic.twitter.com/uBn7UW6QSt
“I had an offensive coordinator — I won’t even mention his name — at Pitt,” Narduzzi said. “He spent eight months with me, left to go take one of those big jobs for $1.2 million, and I said, ‘I don’t think you wanna go.’ OK? He’s like, ‘Well, it’s a lot of money.' And I got him a lot of money. I got him a million at our place. So it’s like, maybe he went for $1.5 [million], and I got him a million, which is just crazy.”
“Like are you s***ting me?” Narduzzi continued. “I don’t even think he was even worth a million. I mean, he wasn’t even that good. But I was like, ‘Listen, you’re stupid to go.’ I said, ‘You go there, you’re starting your whole career over again.’ I said, ‘You stay here for another year, have a good year, and you’ll be a head coach. I’ll send you out of here a head coach.’”
“No patience,” he added. “So have patience in the profession. He goes there, gets fired before the end of the season. There’s turmoil all in the newspapers. It was a miserable season for the guy. He’s gone. Goes and gets another job. OK after that. And he’s gone from there. And he’s been in three jobs in three years. You know, good luck finding him. He’s out of a job right now. But he could have been in one place. So be patient in the profession.”
While Narduzzi did not say Canada’s name, the offensive coordinator's identity was made apparent by the details the coach provided. Canada served as Pitt’s offensive coordinator for just short of one full year, as he was hired on Jan. 8, 2016, and left the program after Pitt’s 31-24 loss to Northwestern in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28, 2016.
Canada accepted a three-year deal from LSU worth more than $1 million a season. However, one year into his contract, he was fired by Ed Orgeron, who then publicly said that hiring Canada was a mistake. Canada was then hired by Maryland, thus becoming the only former Pitt offensive coordinator under Narduzzi to take three jobs in a span of three years.
At the time of Narduzzi’s comments, Canada was not employed. However, he has since accepted a position as a quarterbacks coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that shares Heinz Field and a practice facility with Pitt.
Canada was arguably Pitt’s only successful offensive coordinator under Narduzzi, a notoriously defensive-minded coach. Under Canada, Pitt ranked 10th in the country in scoring offense, with 40.9 points per game. The coach was recognized for the outstanding job he did as one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, which is given to college football's top assistant coach every year.
The year before Canada arrived, which was Narduzzi’s first season at Pitt, the team ranked 68th in the scoring offense, with 28.2 points per game. The year after Canada left, Pitt fell to 101st, with 23.9. Since then, the Panthers offense has continued to struggle, ranking 94th in 2018 and 112th in 2019, and no Narduzzi-hired coordinator has averaged even 30 points per game in a season other than Canada.