Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Mike Canales
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 10, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Third Year at Arizona

21 Years in Coaching

  • Coached true freshman Willie Tuitama to honorable mention All-America status in just five games, recording a 2-2 mark as the starter of record, including scintillating victories on the road at Oregon State and at home over No. 7 UCLA
  • Tuitama established the No. 6 pass efficiency rating in school history in 2005. Senior running back Mike Bell earned honorable mention all-Pac-10 honors and finished his two years under Canales’ system with 1,902 rushing yards and 37 receptions.
  • UA improved its total offense by 60 yards from 2004 to 2005 and in Tuitama’s games kicked that figure up to 402.6 yards per game
  • In 2003, Canales’ charge Santa Moss of the New York Jets finished 2003 in the NFL’s top 15 in receiving, with 74 catches for 1,105 yards, plus 10 touchdowns to tie for fourth in the league
  • Santana Moss was selected as an alternate for the 2004 Pro Bowl.
  •  Worked with eventual 2004 first-round draft pick Phillip Rivers at North Carolina State in 2001-2002.
  • The 2002 Wolfpack finished 11-3 and No. 12 in the final AP rankings after defeating Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl.
  • N.C. State averaged 392 yards per game in total offense, including 247.7 per game passing.
  • The 2002 Wolfpack team had a 3,000-yard passer (Rivers, 3,353), a 1,000-yard receiver (Jerricho Cotchery, 1,192) and a 1,000-yard rusher (T.A. McLendon, 1,101).
  • Canales helped direct a 2001 Wolfpack offense that averaged 358 yards per game ?- 247 per game through the air. The club set a school record with a .644 completion percentage mark.
  • Phillip Rivers was taken as the No. 4 pick by the New York Giants in the NFL draft on April 24, Cotchery was a fourth-round pick by the Jets, and offensive guard Sean Locklear was selected in the third round by Seattle.
  • Coached quarterback Graham Lee at Pacific, later the Western Athletic Conference divisional offensive player of the year.
  • In his first year as a graduate assistant coach, the 1985 BYU team finished the year 11-3, played in the Citrus Bowl and was ranked 16th in both final polls.
  • The ?'85 Cougar attack featured 4,000-yard quarterback Robbie Bosco and All-Americans Mark Bellini (WR) and Trevor Molini (TE).
  • Canales lettered three years as a quarterback at Utah State for coach Bruce Snyder and Chris Pella from 1981-83.


            Arizona’s offensive potential showcased itself in fine fashion in 2005 under the direction of coordinator Mike Canales, and moving the ball effectively should be a hallmark of the program as it enters its third year under his guidance. He and running game coordinator Dana Dimel co-manage the Wildcats' offensive strategies.

            He brings a solid background in the passing game and running the ball with a varied attack, coming to UA from the New York Jets’ staff in January 2004. Canales, 45, is a former collegiate quarterback and knows the game from the under-center perspective.

            He joined the staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after a year as wide receivers coach with the Jets, but he predominantly has been a quarterbacks coach and coordinator, notably with a background helping Lavell Edwards and Norm Chow at BYU early in his career and a later assignment directing the high-powered passing game at North Carolina State.

            Canales’ work each of the past two seasons has helped freshman quarterbacks emerge from backup status to headliners, but now is expected to develop a young sophomore into a standard bearer of note at the position.


Canales’ Coaching history

1985      Brigham Young, offensive grad. assistant

1986      Brigham Young, offensive grad. assistant

1987-91 Snow College, off. coordinator, QB/WR coach

1992-94 Snow College, off. coordinator, QB coach

1995      Pacific, quarterbacks coach, kicking game coordinator

1996      South Florida, off. coordinator, quarterbacks coach

1997      South Florida, off. coordinator, quarterbacks coach

1998      South Florida, off. coordinator, quarterbacks coach

1999      South Florida, off.coordinator, quarterbacks coach

2000      South Florida, off. coordinator, qb coach

2001      North Carolina State, pass-game coordinator, quarterbacks

2002      North Carolina State, pass-game coordinator, quarterbacks

2003      New York Jets, wide receivers coach

2004      Arizona, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach

2005      Arizona, passing game coordinator, quarterbacks coach

Canales in Bowl Games

1985    Citrus Bowl, Brigham Young, graduate assistant

1986    Freedom Bowl, Brigham Young, graduate assistant

1992    Dixie Rotary Bowl, Snow College, offensive coordinator

2001    Tangerine Bowl, North Carolina State, quarterbacks coach

2002    Gator Bowl, North Carolina State, quarterbacks coach

The Canales File

Birthdate:                 June 21, 1961, Coronado, Calif.

High School:            Palm Springs, Calif., HS, 1979

College:                   Utah State, 1984;

Advanced Degree:    Master’s, BYU ?'86

Family:                    Four sons: Christopher, Tyler, Dakota and Cameron; daughter Christy 

                               Married to Carol Chapuis in June 2005

Playing Experience:  Utah State, quarterback, 1981-83

Recruiting Areas:      Tucson, Northern Arizona, California Inland Empire

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