Manny Diaz named Miami Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator

Manny Diaz
Manny Diaz

New Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt hired Miami native Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator today, moving a step closer to filling out his coaching staff.

Diaz, the son of a former Miami mayor of the same name, spent the 2015 season as Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator, his second stint at the school. The Bulldogs went 9-4 this season, beating North Carolina State in the Belk Bowl.

“I’ve known him for over 20 years and I’ve watched him become one of the best defensive minds in the business,” said Richt, who added Diaz will run a 4-3 scheme in 2016.

Diaz worked as Louisiana Tech’s defensive coordinator in 2014, heading a unit that led the nation in forcing turnovers. Before that, Diaz was at Texas from 2011-13, and Mississippi State in 2010 for his first stint there. He also was defensive coordinator for four seasons at Middle Tennessee State, spending time coaching linebackers and safeties at the school.

Diaz, 41, who graduated from Florida State, said the chance to coach in Miami was too good to pass up.

“We knew it would take a very unique opportunity for us to consider leaving,” Diaz said. “God blessed me with a chance to return home, to coach in my hometown and to reunite with family. It is the kind of opportunity that comes along rarely in this business.”

Richt has yet to confirm if he has made any decisions on whether to retain offensive coordinator James Coley or Larry Scott, who served as interim head coach after Al Golden was fired.

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