In a sit down interview with SBNation’s Steven Godfrey, newly hired LSU head coach Ed Orgeron explained his rollercoaster ride to getting the job at LSU. He also made an interesting statement about his now offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
“Coach O” said that Tennessee was one of several teams that “were dying to get him.”
Mike DeBord left Tennessee for Indiana following the 2016 season, leaving the offensive coordinator position vacant in Knoxville. But the gig always felt like it was going to Larry Scott or former receivers coach Zach Azzanni. You just got the feeling that Butch Jones wanted to stay in house with this one.
Orgeron paints a different picture though. Check out this excerpt from Godfrey’s interview. (You should really just read the whole thing — it’s fantastic.)
The staff retrenched, preparing for a battle to land Matt Canada, the offseason’s hottest coordinator candidate. With defensive coordinator Dave Aranda locked into a $1.8 million annual deal, Orgeron, with Alleva’s blessing, wanted an equally notable — and compensated — OC.
"The day we got him here, we knew Notre Dame, UCLA, Tennessee was all after him. That’s not all of them. These schools were just dying to get him. So we had to move. And the guy was wanted, so we had to make the right offer," Orgeron says.
Canada was a candidate to take over the offensive after Mike Bajakian left to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coaching job in 2015. Some even considered him to be the favorite. But Butch Jones opted for Mike DeBord. Canada moved on to Pitt for the 2016 season, becoming a hot name during this offseason’s coaching cycle.
If you believe Orgeron, the connection between Canada and Tennessee was at least somewhat real. This means absolutely nothing now, of course. Tennessee is set to roll with Larry Scott, but it’s an interesting revelation that Butch may have been considering going out of house to find his offensive coordinator.