Will be formally introduced at 1:30 p.m. press conference
By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
LSU has found its offensive coordinator.
Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Matt Canada has agreed to take the same position under Ed Orgeron at LSU, the school confirmed shortly Tuesday morning. He’ll be formally introduced at a 1:30 p.m. CT press conference.
“We have a real opportunity under Coach Orgeron to propel LSU football to another level,” Canada said in an official school release confirming the news. “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.”
“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.”
Orgeron and the Tigers shifted their focus to Canada on Tuesday after Lane Kiffin, their top target for the position, was formally introduced as Florida Atlantic’s new head coach. He was in Baton Rouge all day Tuesday meeting with Orgeron and LSU leaders regarding the gig, sources confirmed.
Canada, like defensive coordinator Dave Aranda a year ago, comes to LSU with an under-the-radar name and impressive credentials. Also like Aranda, the 44-year-old has an extensive coaching history respective to his age thanks to a career-ending injury that prevented him from playing college ball.
This season Canada was one of five finalists for the Frank Broyles Award, and the only offensive coordinator among the bunch. Under his direction, the Panthers led the ACC in scoring this season and pulled upsets of Clemson and Penn State. His quarterback, Nathan Peterman, threw 26 touchdowns to only six interceptions this season while completing 59 percent of his passes.
“When I first sat down with Joe Alleva and we mapped out a plan for LSU football, we agreed that we were going to demand excellence on both sides of the ball,” said Orgeron through the release. “We want a defense that’s impenetrable and an offense that’s exciting and unstoppable. Anyone who wants to play football at the highest levels is going to want to play at LSU.”
Prior to, he was the offensive coordinator who developed quarterback Jacoby Brissett at North Carolina State. Brissett, a Florida transfer, accounted for 43 touchdowns in two seasons under Canada.
Canada had previous coordinator stints at Wisconsin under Bret Bielema and Northern Illinois. His offensive scheme is adaptable and versatile to the talent at his disposal, ranging from a pass-happy spread at NIU to a ground-and-pound attack with Montee Ball at Wisconsin.
Canada will coach in Pitt’s bowl game before making the full-time move to LSU, according to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. Steve Ensminger will continue to function in his role as interim offensive coordinator and LSU’s play caller through the bowl game.
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