Canada promoted to offensive coordinator; Brown to assistant head coach

Bill Lynch has reshuffled his coaching staff’s responsibilities to fill the void left by Terry Hoeppner not being able to return to his coaching duties. The changes include three promotions: running backs coach Gerald Brown to assistant head coach, quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to offensive coordinator and offensive quality control coach (whatever that is) Kyle Conner to tight ends coach.

Here is the news release from IU announcing the changes:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. ­ Indiana head football coach Bill Lynch completed his coaching staff Monday afternoon with three promotions from within the program. Running backs coach and special teams co-coordinator Gerald Brown has been promoted to assistant head coach, while passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada will take over as offensive coordinator.

Kyle Conner, who served as the team’s offensive quality control coach in 2006, will round out the staff and serve as tight ends coach.

“We think we have an excellent staff in place,” Lynch said. “The continuity and consistency we built coming out of spring practice is of the utmost importance. We felt we made tremendous strides this spring and wanted to keep the staff intact.”

Brown, who has 21 years of coaching experience, has overseen the running backs and served as special teams co-coordinator, which he will continue to do in addition to his assistant head coach duties, since he arrived in Bloomington in 2002. In 2006, Brown’s special teams unit totaled five touchdowns ­ three on kick returns by Marcus Thigpen, one on a punt return
and one on a fumble recovery. Thigpen led the nation with a 30.1 kick return average and his three TDs. The special teams unit also held opponents under 20 yards per kickoff return (19.1).

Brown’s running backs have averaged 1,549 yards per season in his tenure. During Brown’s first season in Bloomington (2002), Indiana gained 1,398 yards despite not having a back with more than 90 career carries entering the 2002 campaign. In 2003, BenJarvus Green-Ellis became the seventh true freshman in Indiana history to rush for 100 yards in a game (he had four 100-plus yard efforts) and just the third freshman to eclipse the 200-yard plateau in a single game when he gained 203 yards against Penn State. In 2004, IU had at least one rushing touchdown in 10 of 11 games.

Canada, who will remain the team’s quarterbacks coach, held the offensive coordinator role at Northern Illinois in 2003. He spent the 2004 season as Indiana’s quarterbacks coach before adding the responsibilities of passing game coordinator to his resume in 2005 and 2006. Last season, Canada saw redshirt freshman Kellen Lewis post 2,662 total yards of offense, the
fourth-highest single-season output in school history.

In 2005, he oversaw a passing attack that threw a school record 24 touchdown passes, as Blake Powers set a school-record with 22 scores. Powers’ 212 completions and 376 attempts each ranked second in school history. Under Canada’s direction in 2004, Indiana went from 11th to fifth in the Big Ten in passing efficiency and from 10th to fourth in scoring offense.

Conner worked with the tight ends during the Hoosiers’ spring practice. Prior to the 2006 campaign, Conner spent the 2005 season as the co-offensive coordinator at Butler after serving as the school’s wide receivers coach from 2002-04. Conner also played wide receiver at Butler from 1996-00 and earned an elementary education degree from the university in 2001.


  1. It is interesting that IU is referring to Lynch as “Indiana head football coach” and not “Interim head football coach.” This is still Hep’s team, right?

  2. On Friday Lynch was named the Head Coach for the 2007 season, losing the interim title on they way. Assuming that Hep can return, he would receive his position back, but for now Hep is away from the team, and is no longer making decision that involve the team.

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