With Durkin sidelined, Matt Canada is Maryland’s interim head coach. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know about him:
Canada just got here this offseason.
He came to Maryland after spending one rocky season as LSU’s offensive coordinator. Canada was praised upon his arrival in Baton Rouge after coordinating an excellent offense at Pitt in 2016. His tenure at LSU reportedly included disagreements with head coach Ed Orgeron, who at one point told Canada to cut out his hallmark pre-snap motions.
The fact that he is one of the newest members of Maryland’s staff is likely one of the biggest reasons why he’s now the man in charge. ESPN’s reports describe a football team that had a “coaching environment based on fear and intimidation.” As one of the newest members of the staff, Canada could potentially distance himself from at least some of that blame
Canada’s been an offensive coordinator for a while, though.
After serving as a student assistant and grad assistant at Indiana, Canada was a position coach for one season at Butler before becoming the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator. He’s since done stints at Northern Illinois, Indiana, one season back at Northern Illinois, one season at Wisconsin, one season at NC State, one season at Pitt and then one season at LSU. He’s been a bunch of places, and has never stuck around for long.
But his one season at Pitt was a masterpiece. The Panthers, not exactly known for their offensive output, averaged 40 points per game and finished fourth in offensive S&P+. Canada’s offenses put up over 40 points on Penn State and eventual national champion Clemson in a wild season.
Matt Canada’s offenses, by S&P+
|Off. S&P+ rank
|Off. S&P+ rank
The experience he’s had coordinating various Power 5 offenses at fairly successful levels means Canada was likely on track for some sort of Group of 5 head coaching job in the near-ish future, if that’s what he wanted (and rumors are that’s indeed what he wants).
He now takes over a program mired in a lot of uncertainty.
The investigation into McNair’s death isn’t expected to wrap up until September. Durkin and three strength or training staff members are on leave after ESPN’s reports alleging things like “belittling, humiliation and embarrassment” of players. There’s going to be a lot more going on than just playing football, and there are a lot of questions still to be asked.