Penn State hires former Miami head coach Manny Diaz to be defensive cooridnator

Just when it appeared that Penn State might have its defensive coordinator position figured ,, the Nittany Lions made a big-name hire. Manny Diaz (ex-head coach of the Miami Hurricanes) has been officially named Penn State’s new defensive coordinator. The hire was made by Penn State Saturday morning.

“We’re thrilled to have Manny Diaz join our defense team,” said James Franklin , head coach in a statement. “Manny is an experienced defensive play-caller and his head coaching experience will be a tremendous asset to our organization. His extensive Xs & Os knowledge, which he gained through multiple stops at Power Five conferences, gives him an innovative approach. Manny’s defensive strategy is in line to ours and will be a great asset in our transition with the current team. His defenses were aggressive and he led the country in many categories throughout his career .”


This hire is huge for Franklin as Diaz, a respected defensive coach who has been a successful defensive coordinator for many years, is highly respected. Diaz was hired to be the head coach at Temple prior to the 2019 season but quickly moved to Miami once the Hurricanes made him an offer to be their head coach. Diaz coached Miami for three seasons as the head coach before being ousted by the university in favor of former Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal. The Miami administration handled Diaz’s departure from Miami in a mess. Penn State should be grateful that the Hurricanes parted ways with their former coach.

” My family and I are thrilled to move to Happy Valley to join the Penn State family,” Diaz stated in a statement. “It is an honor to be able to lead Linebacker U and I will do my best to keep that tradition alive every day. Penn State’s defense is among the best in the country, both historically and under Coach Franklin. I will continue to strive for excellence with our defense unit on a daily base. I cannot wait to play with this talented group of football players, to meet them and ultimately to develop them as young men , students, and football players.

Diaz is his first job in Big Ten, but he has many years of coaching some of the most respected defense teams in the country. Diaz was a defensive assistant at NC State and Mississippi State, Texas, Miami, and his short time as the head coach at Miami.

Diaz will fill the staff position left open by Brent Pry, he left Penn State for an opportunity to be the head coach at Virginia Tech. Penn State’s co-defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter was thought by some to be the most likely candidate to take on the role full-time after Virginia moved in a different direction to fill their head coaching vacancy. Poindexter stated he will continue with Penn State ,, which will make Diaz a solid coach.

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