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MADISON - The exodus of assistants continue at the University of Wisconsin.
Three days after former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema hired defensive coordinator Chris Ash at Arkansas, offensive coordinator Matt Canada has accepted the same job at North Carolina State under new head coach Dave Doeren, a former Wisconsin assistant.
“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,” Doeren said in the statement. “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.”
Confirming what we first reported Thursday, wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni has accepted the same job at Tennessee under new head coach Butch Jones. The two worked together at Central Michigan. All three coaches are expected to remain on staff through the Rose Bowl.
“I am grateful to Dave for the opportunity to join him at NC State,” said Canada in the release. “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.”
In 2011 Canada was the offensive coordinator at Northern Illinois under Doeren, where his offense ranked among the top 12 nationally in scoring offense, total offense and rushing offense. The Huskies also posted an 11-3 record, winning the MAC championship and grabbing a victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
Despite his fair share of criticism following in the footsteps of Paul Chryst, Canada orchestrated an offense that ranked 12th in the NCAA in rushing yards per game (237.8) and won its third straight conference championship after Canada’s creative play-calling lead to a 70-31 blowout victory over then-No.12 Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship game.
“Matt has had to run his offense with different personnel and has been successful each time,” Doeren said. “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.”