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Matt Canada hired as Maryland football’s new offensive coordinator

DJ Durkin wasted little time filling the vacancy.

NCAA Football: Chattanooga at Louisiana State Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a week after offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Walt Bell left to fill the same role at Florida State, Maryland is expected to hire former LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada as his replacement, per’s Matt Zenitz first reported Monday that Maryland was “expected to hire” Canada, and ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported an official agreement just over 24 hours later. The team announced the hire and Chris Beatty’s promotion to co-offensive coordinator Tuesday night.

Canada’s offense at LSU felt lackluster at times, but finished the season ranked No. 42 in the country. He and head coach Ed Orgeron reportedly didn’t get along too well, and he and the team mutually agreed to part ways at season’s end.

Before LSU, Canada spent a year at Pittsburgh—where the Panthers beat Penn State and eventual national champion Clemson in the same season—three years at NC State, one season each at Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, seven seasons at Indiana, six years in his first stint with Northern Illinois and one year at Butler. He was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at every stop.

At Pitt, he was the only offensive finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant. His offense was No. 10 in points per game and No. 8 in red zone touchdowns. In 2015 at NC State, Canada’s offense put up the fifth-most yards per game in school history en route to having the NCAA’s 11th-best time of possession.

Canada was the highest-paid offensive coordinator in college football for his one season in Baton Rouge, and was owed $3.3 million over the two remaining years on his contract. Instead, he will be paid about $1.7 million as part of a settlement with the program.

His pro-style spread is famous for its pre-snap shifts and motions, designed to create mismatches between the offense’s best athletes and slower defenders. At Maryland, skill position players like Anthony McFarland, DJ Turner, Tahj Capehart, Lorenzo Harrison, Ty Johnson and Javon Leake figure to benefit the most. Perhaps more importantly, while still able to make use of mobile quarterbacks, there is less of an emphasis on putting them in positions to run. With redshirt freshman Kasim Hill and redshirt sophomore Tyrrell Pigrome each coming off season-ending ACL injuries, minimizing their exposure while still finding ways to get the ball to the offense’s most dynamic players will be paramount.

Canada is the third assistant coach DJ Durkin has hired this offseason after Chuck Heater and Bryan Stinespring accepted the safeties and offensive line coaching positions, respectively. This leaves running backs coach as the only assistant coaching vacancy.

This story was initially published on Jan. 22 after initial reports of Canada’s expected hiring. It has been updated.