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Anonymous ACC coach: ‘I was shocked’ NC State fired Matt Canada

Troy v North Carolina State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Each year, Athlon allows coaches dish on their conference foes while remaining anonymous. Naturally this produces some of the most interesting remarks we’ll hear from football coaches during the offseason, even if the coaches can’t completely turn off the coachspeak.

They don’t provide critiques as much as they do questions about potential, with some underlying skepticism—probably because most of these guys have been through all of the stages of building a program and can sympathize with their peers who are going through rough patches.

The league’s coaches had some pretty good things to say about NC State’s front seven and Nyheim Hines, while noting that, yes, State has an uncertain quarterback situation. And at least one coach in the ACC was as surprised as we were that Dave Doeren got rid of offensive coordinator Matt Canada instead of defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable or somebody else on that side of the ball.

“I knew they’d shake things up because Dave Doeren was telling people he was going to make some staff changes, but I never thought it was going to be the offensive guy. They were always scoring points. I was shocked they made that change.”

I’m still agnostic on that move and will be until we get into the season, but the longer that decision’s been marinating, the more I’ve felt like it was necessary. I think Doeren is right that State needs to play tempo more frequently to be successful, and I don’t think Canada was good at managing the diverse skill players at his disposal. Even when attrition via injury theoretically made that job easier for him.

I don’t think Doeren was happy with Jacoby Brissett’s lack of development over the course of three years under Canada, who was also the QB coach.

Material results this year will go a long way toward determining Doeren’s status in Raleigh, which is not entirely fair considering the schedule. That’s the nature of coaching, though.