In 2016, Matt Canada was among the hottest offensive coordinators in college football. At Pitt, he had just helped turn around a struggling offense using his trademark bevy of pre-snap shifts and motions that often confused and outflanked defenses. Pitt finished that season 8-5, and Canada ended up as one of five finalists for the Broyles award, which annually goes to the top assistant coach in college football.
Leading up to that, Canada had called offenses at Butler (FCS - IN), Northern Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and NC State. Now he had some of the premier programs in the country blowing up his phone and offering to make him part of the elite (at the time) $1 million coordinator club.
Pat Narduzzi looks back at that conversation he had with Canada after LSU came calling for his services after that 2016 season at Pitt.
"I had an offensive coordinator, I won't even mention his name, at Pitt. He spent 8 months with me, left to take one of those 'big' jobs for $1.2 million."
"I said, 'I don't think you want to go.' He's like, 'Well, it's a lot of money,' and I got him a million. I got him a million at our place. So maybe he went for $1.5, and I got him a million, which is just crazy."
Narduzzi goes on to share that he told Canada that he'd be stupid to go.
"If you go there, you're starting your whole career over again. You stay here for another year and have a good year, you'll be a head coach. I will send you out of here a head coach," Narduzzi recalls telling Canada. "But no patience. Have patience in this profession."
Of course, Canada took that job - as the offensive coordinator under Ed Orgeron in Baton Rouge, and they didn't see eye to eye and after a year he was looking for a job. He landed as the offensive coordinator, and then later the interim head coach, at Maryland in 2018. Despite leading them to a 5-7 mark in an incredibly adverse situation following the death of Terp player Jordan McNair, Canada didn't get the job and Maryland of course hired Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. Canada spent 2019 out of coaching before landing a job coaching the quarterbacks in the NFL for the Steelers in mid-January, where he is currently.
The lesson for coaches in Narduzzi telling that story? Simple. "Have patience in this profession."
Listen to Narduzzi lay out his logic for patience here in this clip from a 2019 Nike Coach of the Year Clinic.
">August 31, 2020