Mike Canales enters his sixth year as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Mean Green.
The Mean Green offense has combined to average more points in consecutive seasons (2013-14) since 1968-69. NT scored 27.2 points a game in 2014, along with the second-highest total in school history in 2013, 31.6 points a game, made this the highest scoring stretch in school history since 1968-69. In 2014 Canales oversaw a Mean Green offense that was the best in the nation in red-zone scoring. In 2014, North Texas scored 94.3 percent of the time in the red-zone to lead the nation.
The leadership of Canales took the North Texas offense to record breaking heights in the 2013. The Mean Green offense scored a total of 414 points, the second most in school history and the most since 1951. North Texas averaged 31.8 points a game, topping the 30-point mark for only the third time in school history.
The North Texas offense scored over 30 points in seven games this season, the most since returning to FBS football in 1995 and it marked only the fifth time in school history the Mean Green has had a season of scoring 30 points or more in seven games.
Quarterback Derek Thompson won the Heart Dallas Bowl MVP award and permanently etched his name into the record books after leading the Mean Green to a nine-win season. Under Canales, Thompson finished his career with 7,457 passing yards, 42 touchdown passes and his senior season he was No. 2 all-time at NT in passing yards (2,896), completions, (251), completion percentage (64.4), and total offense with 3,053 yards.
The Mean Green ground game also was record breaking in 2013. North Texas rushed for over 300-yards three times in 2013, which is the most in a single season since 1959. NT had 2,208 rushing yards for the season, which are the 13th most rushing yards in a single season in school history.
During the 2012 season, Thompson threw for a career-high 2,649 yards, which ranks fourth all-time in a single season. Thompson broke the school record for single-game completion percent at No. 14 Kansas State when he completed 25-of-28 passes.
The Mean Green offense churned out over 4,000 yards for the sixth straight year, which is a school record and the fourth straight under Canales.
The 4,751 total yards of offense is the fourth most in school history. The Mean Green rushed for over 2,000 yards for third time in the last four seasons under Canales.
In 2011, Canales oversaw the growth of starting quarterback Thompson. He threw for 1,759 yards, which is the fifth most passing yards in a single season at North Texas since 1995. The Mean Green offense closed the season by scoring 59 points, the most points scored in a game since the 2009 season.
Canales guided a North Texas offense that featured its third-straight season of producing a 1,000-yard rusher in Lance Dunbar, who also rushed for a single-game school record 313 yards. Dunbar also became only the sixth player in NCAA history to have 4,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a career.
In 2011, 15 different players had at least one reception, and walk-on Ivan Delgado became a key part of the North Texas offense, finishing as the fourth leading receiver.
Canales was the first coach McCarney named to his North Texas staff, making the announcement at McCarney’s introductory press conference after being hired. Canales was the Mean Green’s interim head coach for the last five weeks of the 2010 season and was responsible for improving the team’s offense in a short time.
Canales took a team that was averaging 16.9 points per game and averaged 33.8 in the last five weeks. He also helped improve the team’s total offense from 348.7 yards per game to 412.4 yards per game and the rushing offense from 173.4 yards per game to 242.4 yards per game.
Prior to coming to North Texas, Canales was the offensive coordinator at the University of South Florida for three years. Canales has been successful at helping offenses flourish at both the college and professional level.
He was offensive coordinator at the University of Arizona for three years, coached wide receivers for the New York Jets of the National Football League and was the quarterback coach at North Carolina State where he helped develop Phillip Rivers who is currently an All-Pro player for the San Diego Chargers of the NFL.
He was on Jim Leavitt’s original South Florida staff from 1996-2001, where he helped establish the program and its rise from an independent to a nationally-ranked Bowl Championship Series power. In 2008 at South Florida, Canales’ offense led the Big East Conference in scoring and finished second in total offense. He helped his team reach a national ranking as high as No. 2 during the 2007 season and No. 10 during the 2008 season.
Under his leadership, South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe became the Big East Conference career leader in total offense. He also was part of three bowl games at USF, helping lead the Bulls to the Sun, St. Petersburg, and International bowls.
While the passing game coordinator at North Carolina State, his offense finished in the top 10 nationally in passing offense and competed in two postseason bowl games. Rivers was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference player and Heisman Trophy candidate under Canales’ watch. The Wolfpack made two bowl games with Canales, the Champ Sports and Gator Bowl.
Canales has coached five different quarterbacks which have earned All-America recognition. He was named the National Offensive Coordinator of the Week while at Arizona in 2006.
Canales began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Brigham Young University where he learned from legendary offensive coach Norm Chow. At BYU the Cougars went to the Citrus and Freedom Bowl with Canales. He went on to be the offensive coordinator at Snow Junior College where he had a top 10 nationally-ranked offensive unit in seven of his eight years. He coached quarterbacks at Pacific in 1995 before being hired at South Florida in 1996.
Canales is married to the former Carol Chapuis. The couple has six children, Christopher (28), Tyler (23), Dakota (20), Aaron Norris (33), Christy Norris (29), and Cameron Canales (10). The couple also has two grandchildren, Afton Norris (4) and Micah Canales (1).