Manny Diaz Fired as Miami HC amid Mario Cristobal Rumors

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 6, 2021

Miami head coach Manny Diaz watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Virginia Tech, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Manny Diaz has been fired as head coach of the Miami football team, the school announced Monday. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the decision.

"We are grateful to Coach Diaz for his many contributions to our campus community and to his native South Florida, and for the strong leadership and exemplary character he exhibited during his tenure at the University," Miami President Julio Frenk said in the school release. "We wish him and his family the very best as they move forward."

Diaz was in his third season leading the Hurricanes, accumulating a 21-15 record. The squad went 7-5 in 2021 and is scheduled to face Washington State in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.

According to ESPN's Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg, Miami has had "extensive discussions" with Oregon coach Mario Cristobal to take over the role with the Hurricanes. Cristobal both played at Miami and worked there as an assistant coach earlier in his career. 

Cristobal has a 35-13 record over the past five seasons with Oregon, including a Rose Bowl win after the 2019 season.

Diaz couldn't reach that level in his three seasons, ending the past two years with losses in the Cheez-It Bowl and Independence Bowl.

The Hurricanes reached the Top 10 of the AP poll in 2020 after an 8-1 start to the season, but consecutive losses to end the campaign ruined the excitement. Preseason expectations in 2021 evaporated quickly with a 2-4 start.

Miami has five national championships in its history, most recently in 2001, but the program has only one 10-win season in the last 18 years. The team also has only one bowl win—the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl—since 2006.

The administration is clearly looking for someone who can help return the Hurricanes to their past glory.