Former Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will become the new head coach of the Temple Owls, according to reliable reports. The opening was created when former head coach Geoff Collins departed for Georgia Tech. He replaces the retiring Paul Johnson in Atlanta. Temple will play in the Independence Bowl versus Duke on December 27th. This will be Diaz’s first head coaching job in his career after being a long time defensive coordinator.
Miami head coach Mark Richt appointed Diaz as defensive coordinator in 2016. He has transformed the Hurricanes defense since being hired. This season Miami finished number two in the nation in total defense. Miami’s defense led the country in several categories including tackles for loss and pass defense.
Manny Diaz’ Coaching Career
The coaching career of Diaz began in 1998 as a graduate assistant in Florida State under the tutelage of legendary coaches on the staff of Bobby Bowden. Diaz would follow one of those coaches, Chuck Amato, to North Carolina State as a graduate assistant in 2000.
His first opportunity to coach his own position group would be in 2002 at NC State, where he coached the linebacker for two seasons. In 2004, Diaz would move up to coach the safeties position in addition to coaching special teams. After the 2005 season Diaz would finally get the opportunity to become a defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State.
Overall, Diaz would spend four seasons in Middle Tennessee State where his defense would lead the conference in sacks and tackles for loss twice in that period. In his final season at MTSU his defense finished second nationally in tackles for loss and sixth nationally in sacks.
In 2010 Diaz would receive the opportunity to coach in the SEC under Dan Mullen at Mississippi State. Inheriting a defense that ranked 71st in scoring defense the season prior, under Diaz that improved to 22nd. Additionally, other categories also improved, the defense ranked in the top 20 for rushing defense and tackles for loss.
Time at Texas
After just one season in Starkville, Diaz left to become the defensive coordinator at Texas under Mack Brown. Initially he found success, as the Longhorns had the top defense in the Big 12 conference. In 2012, Texas regressed. The defense was the worst in school history. In just the second game in the 2013 season, Diaz was relieved of his duties after Texas lost to BYU.
The next stop would be Louisiana Tech for Diaz where he spent his only season. His defense led the nation in turnovers the 2014 season.
Diaz would return back to Mississippi State in 2015 under Mullen, his defense would rank top ten nationally in red zone defense and tackles for loss.
The Aftermath For Miami
Losing Manny Diaz is a big blow to Richt and the Hurricanes. Miami is set to host a large recruiting weekend beginning Friday. Most of the visitors are defensive commitments. In addition, Miami may lose multiple assistant coaches that were previously brought on staff through their relationship with Diaz. With the early signing day period next Wednesday, several Miami commitments may hold off on signing with Miami due to the departure.
The Hurricanes also have several draft eligible defensive players that could be persuaded to enter the draft with the loss of Diaz. Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Joe Jackson are all potential entries.