The University of Miami announced Sunday evening that Manny Diaz will take over as head coach of the Hurricanes’ football team. Mark Richt abruptly announced his retirement earlier Sunday.
Diaz has spent most of his career as a defensive specialist, coaching several collegiate programs. He had recently been named head coach at Temple University but decided to remain at UM after Richt’s announcement and following a meeting with athletic director Blake James.
During his 19-year coaching career, Diaz has coached in 18 bowl games, with a 13-5 record in bowls.
In 2015, Diaz’s defensive unit helped Mississippi State to a 9-4 record and a victory over NC State in the Belk Bowl. His defensive unit held opponents to just 23.2 points per game and ranked in the nation’s top 10 in red zone defense and tackles for loss.
Diaz spent one season, 2014, at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs led the nation in turnovers gained with 16 fumble recoveries and 26 interceptions.
Before his stop at Louisiana Tech, Diaz coached three seasons at Texas (2011-13). His 2011 defensive unit ranked ninth in total yards per play.
In 2010, during his first stint at Mississippi State, Diaz guided a defense that ranked 22nd in the nation in scoring defense (19.9 ppg), 17th in rushing defense (214.9 ypg) and 17th in tackles for loss (7.0 pg). MSU also finished ranked 13th in red-zone defense (.730) and 22nd in turnovers forced (28) nationally in 2010.
Before his first stop at Mississippi State, Diaz spent four seasons as defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State. He coached linebackers for two years after mentoring the safeties during his first two years.
In four years under Diaz, MTSU’s defense led its conference in sacks and tackles for loss twice, and finished no lower than third in the league in either category during his tenure. In 2009, the Blue Raiders finished second nationally in tackles for loss. Diaz’s defense also ranked sixth nationally in sacks that season, posting nearly three per game.
Before joining Middle Tennessee, Diaz played a significant role for one of the country’s top-ranked defenses by coaching safeties in 2004-05 and handling the linebackers in 2002-03 for NC State.
Diaz spent the 2000 and 2001 seasons at NCSU as a graduate assistant working primarily with the linebackers. During that time, the Wolfpack went to two bowl games and became the first ACC team to beat Florida State in Tallahassee.
Diaz began his coaching career at Florida State in 1998. In his two years as a graduate assistant, he was on the same coaching staff as Richt and was part of the Seminoles’ national title-winning coaching staff in 1999.
Read more: Mark Richt steps down as head coach at Miami