When the 2019 season ended, Coach Mike Tomlin was specifically asked about changes to his coaching staff and if he would bring in a quarterbacks' coach. He said it was something he wasn't opposed to.
The team hasn't had a separate quarterbacks' coach since Randy Fichtner took over as offensive coordinator in 2018 and assumed both duties.
That changed today when Matt Canada was announced as the team's new quarterbacks' coach.
"Mike and I both felt it was an opportunity we had," said Steelers President Art Rooney Ii. "It was good to add somebody to the staff to help with the young quarterbacks as well as help with the offensive stuff. We're happy someone like Matt, who we knew from down the hall here (at Pitt) and liked some of work he's done. We're happy to have him on board."
Canada comes to the Steelers from the college ranks where he has two decades of experience as a quarterbacks' coach and offensive coordinator and was a finalist for the Broyles Award in 2016, an honor given to the top assistant coach in college football.
He brings a good track record with him as his offensive units set school records at multiple stops in his career, including Indiana, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh, as well as at the University of Maryland in 2018 when he was the interim head coach.
Canada served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks' coach at LSU in 2017, helping o guide quarterback Danny Etling to a strong season where he threw 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions, while LSU finished the season ranked No. 1 in he country for fewest turnovers.
Canada spent the 2016 season at the University of Pittsburgh as offensive coordinator, and the Panthers averaged a school-record 42 points per game. Pitt led the nation in red-zone touchdown percentage (82%) and scored at least 28 points in all 12 regular season games, including a 43-42 victory at eventual national champion Clemson.
While he was at NC State (2013-15) he coached current Indianapolis Colts' starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who threw 43 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions over a two-year period under his guidance. The Wolkpack finished third in the ACC in scoring offense in 2015 and scored the most points (41) in the regular season against College Football Playoff finalist Clemson.
Canada served a critical role in leading Wisconsin to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl berth in 2012. The Badgers finished No. 12 nationally in rushing offense and Montee Ball won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back.
Prior to joining the Wisconsin staff, Canada led offenses at both Northern Illinois (2003, 2011) and Indiana (2007-10). In 2011, the Huskies won the MAC championship and finished in the top 12 nationally in scoring offense, total offense and rushing offense. Canada guided an offense that scored a school-record 412 points in 2007, and three different quarterbacks each ranked among the top three in single-season passing touchdowns, passing yards and completion percentage.
In his first stint as the Northern Illinois offensive coordinator in 2003, the Huskies climbed as high as No. 12 in the AP poll. Canada was instrumental in the development of All-American running back Michael Turner.