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March 13, 2013

Video interview: Offensive coordinator Matt Canada

The Wolfpacker talked with new NC State offensive coordinator Matt Canada in late February. The video interview is posted below and, because we had some technical difficulties with the audio, a full transcript of what the coach had to say is below that.

How has the move to Raleigh gone?

It's going great, every day is an exciting one. We're trying to get our feet on the ground, getting to know our players and we're learning more and more about our University. We're having a good time and we've got a great staff…it's going well.

It seems like a lot of the guys on the staff already know each other very well. How close is everybody?

For us on offense, it's great. [Offensive line coach] Mike Uremovich was a G.A. for me back in 2001-02 at Northern Illinois, so I've known him for a long, long time. He's a tremendous coach, he's been a head coach, he's been a coordinator. He's a highly detailed guy coaching our line, and he's certainly a guy that I've known for a long time.

[Wide receivers coach] Frisman Jackson, I coached at Northern Illinois. He played on one of our teams, so I've known Fris for a long time…he had a great, great career and he's certainly an inspiring coach to be around that I really like being around. His enthusiasm and knowledge is awesome.

[Tight ends and fullbacks coach] Eddie Faulker, I've worked with the last two years. I've known Eddie for a long time through mutual friends and I had a chance to work with him for the last two years. There's probably not a better guy out there, and I certainly trust him with anything. He's a great, great mind, a great coach, and a great recruiter. I've been with Faulk for two years, and we've won some championships, so he's certainly a great guy to have around and he knows everything that I want to do and how I want to do it.

[Running backs coach] Des Kitchings has been here at State, which is awesome. He's a guy that knows our players and knows the ins and outs of our players. He is a tremendous coach, a guy that has been a coordinator and has great knowledge of the game, so we have a great staff on offense.

What's it like working with Coach Doeren, you've known him for a long time too?

Right, Coach Doeren and I have known each other for a long time through competition. Then, obviously, I went to Northern two years ago and we won a championship, which was something they had not done for 28 years and that was special.

It's always good to know who you're working for — you know what to expect, every day is not a, 'I wonder how it's going to go,' and he's a guy that I have great trust in him and he has trust in me about what we're going to do on offense. It's a great situation.

How did you get into college coaching?

I was a guy that always wanted to be a coach. Bill Mallory was the head coach at Indiana, he gave me a chance to be a student coach way back and I certainly owe him a lot for that. I was a student coach, then I became a graduate assistant, then I became a part-time coach. I didn't make very much money, but that was my first job, and I moved on, had a chance to move up the ranks and I've been very, very blessed with where I've gone.

You've coached a lot of different types of offense, going back to Indiana, then Northern Illinois and Wisconsin. What do you plan to do here at NC State?

I would say that we've coached the same offense, it's the system just carried through time. We're going to use our players' strengths to maximize our strengths. You go back to Northern Illinois, we had a great year in 2003 with Michael Turner, a guy that could run the football, and Josh Haldi was our quarterback. We won some big games, beat some very, very highly touted programs that year.

Then, we went to Indiana and did what we had to do with the players that we had. We had very, very good players — very talented receivers, very good quarterbacks, good linemen and good backs all at different times during our seven years, and we found a way, in most cases, to score some points and do what we could do. We had some good success there.

We went to Northern Illinois and we had two very, very talented quarterbacks — one who got drafted and one who is still there. We found a way to move the football with those guys and the pieces around them, then we went to Wisconsin and had very good running backs again, so we focused on them.

This system does what to do — it works to find the strengths of the players, and we're going to continue to do that.

What are some of the traits you look for in a quarterback?

He needs to be a student of the game, he needs to like the game, he needs to be a good leader — everybody leads differently, but he needs to lead — he needs to be a tremendous competitor and then he needs to be able to throw the ball well enough that when it's third-and-five and everybody knows we have to throw it, he can throw it and complete it.

We want him to be a student of the game and a good leader, everything else will kind of take care of itself.

What are some of your hobbies outside of coaching?

I don't have a lot of hobbies, truthfully. I play a little bit of golf, and I'm obviously excited about living here in Raleigh and getting a little bit of a chance to do that, and really just spending time with my two kids, that's the main hobby I've got. I'm excited about being down here and enjoying the weather, that's one great positive about here — you're going to have great weather.

N.C. State NEWS


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