MADISON (WKOW) -- It's official: Matt Canada is leaving Wisconsin for North Carolina State.
Wisconsin's offensive coordinator will join former UW defensive coordinator Dave Doeren, who took over as the Wolfpack's head coach a few weeks ago.
Doeren also hired Canada as his offensive coordinator at Northern Illinois in 2011.
When Canada came to Wisconsin in January, he made it clear this was a destination job for him. But the truth is, whoever takes over as the Badgers' head coach will have his pick of assistants, and Canada could be out of a job, so he is taking matters into his own hands and heading to NC State.
Canada hasn't said for sure when he plans to leave, but last week, he made it sound like he and all the assistant coaches plan to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
"I'm proud of what we've done; I don't want to minimize that. I think what we've accomplished, we owe it to each other -- players to players, coaches to coaches -- to finish it up. We've got a job to do; we're going to finish our job," Canada said. "Obviously, there are other things going on. My children are No. 1 on my mind and making sure we take care of them, but certainly we're focused on going to the Rose Bowl and winning a game."
As for how the Badger players feel about the news? They're disappointed but they understand the situation.
"I wasn't shocked, because the idea of the unknown if they stay and another head coach comes in, they won't know if they'll have their job or not. So I don't blame them at all," senior running back Montee Ball said.
"I'm disapointed. I liked playing for him and thought he was a really good head coach. I thought he had a good offense, but you know, that's how this business works," freshman quarterback Joel Stave said.
You can read the full press release from NC State below:
NC State head football coach Dave Doeren has announced that Matt Canada has joined his staff as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Canada comes to the Wolfpack from Wisconsin, where he spent the 2012 season in that same position.
"Matt Canada has one of the most creative offensive minds in the country and he does a great job of utilizing strengths and hiding weaknesses," said Doeren. "I had the privilege to work with Matt when he was on the staff of our first conference championship team at Northern Illinois and to coach against him when he was the offensive coordinator at Indiana.
"Matt has had to run his offense with different personnel and has been successful each time. He will make the transition much easier for me. He's not only a tremendous quarterback coach who has developed quarterbacks into NFL players, but he has also developed the run game, as evidenced by Wisconsin's success rushing the ball this season."
The Badgers finished the 2012 regular season 12th in the NCAA in rushing yards per game with an average of 237.8 yards. Montee Ball won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back, in addition to being named a first-team AP All-American. Ball finished seventh in the NCAA with 1,730 rushing yards and his 21 touchdowns ranked eighth nationally. Bell finished his career with 82 rushing touchdowns - the highest mark in NCAA history.
Badger wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and left tackle Rick Wagner each earned consensus first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2012, while center Travis Frederick (media) and tight end Jacob Pedersen (coaches) also were tabbed to the first-team. Pedersen was also named the Big Ten tight end of the year. The Badgers will face Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
"I am grateful to Dave for the opportunity to join him at NC State," said Canada. "It's a special place and I think the future is bright for the program. I am excited to meet and begin working with our players."
Canada went to Wisconsin after spending the 2011 campaign on Doeren's staff at Northern Illinois. He coordinated the Husky offense that posted an 11-3 record, won a MAC championship and a victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. The NIU offense was one of the most explosive offenses in the country, finishing among the top 12 nationally in scoring offense, total offense and rushing offense. The Huskies joined Wisconsin as two of only five teams in the nation to average at least 230.0 yards rushing and passing each in 2011.
NIU's quarterback, Chandler Harnisch, was a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and was named honorable mention All-America by SI.com. He finished ninth in the country in total offense, averaging 328.2 yards per game.
The 2011 season was Canada's second stint with Northern Illinois. He spent six seasons (1998-2003) as an assistant coach at NIU under former head coach Joe Novak, working with the NIU running backs (1998-2000) and quarterbacks (2001-02) before taking over as offensive coordinator in the Huskies' breakthrough 2003 season.
At Northern Illinois, Canada was part of the staff that revived the Husky program, from a team that was 2-9 in his first season of 1998 to the team that upset Maryland, Alabama and Iowa State en route to a No. 12 Associated Press and No. 10 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) national ranking in 2003.
Canada coached players whose names fill the Husky record books, including current Atlanta Falcons' running back and 2003 second-team All-American Michael Turner, and fellow thousand-yard rushers William Andrews and current Wisconsin running backs coach Thomas Hammock. The Husky offense under Canada also featured current Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Ryan Diem and former New York Jets and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Justin McCareins.
Before returning to Northern Illinois in 2011, Canada spent seven years at Indiana, where he coached the Hoosiers' quarterbacks each season, became passing game coordinator in 2005 and 2006, and served as offensive coordinator for the last four years.
Canada's quarterbacks at IU (Ben Chappell, Kellen Lewis and Blake Powers) hold the top three spots in single season touchdowns, yards, completions, attempts and completion percentage. In four years as IU offensive coordinator, the Hoosiers had an All-American wide receiver (James Hardy), three first-team All-Big Ten receivers, an all-conference left tackle and an all-league quarterback (Lewis). Chappell led the Big Ten in passing yards, completions and attempts in 2010 while setting the Indiana single-season records in all three categories.
Lewis set the Indiana school record for career passing touchdowns and established new single-season marks for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total yards as the 2007 Hoosiers scored a school-record 412 points under Canada's direction.
A 1993 graduate of Indiana, Canada began his coaching career as a student assistant (1992-93) and graduate assistant (1994-95) at IU. He made his full-time coaching debut in 1996 at Butler University, where he oversaw the quarterbacks and wideouts before moving up to offensive coordinator in 1997.
"I would like to welcome Matt, his daughter Tori and his son Chris to the Wolfpack family," Doeren continued.
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