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Former Miami HC Manny Diaz Named Penn State Defensive Coordinator

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 11, 2021

Miami head coach Manny Diaz encourages his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Duke, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)
AP Photo/Chris Seward

Following his firing this week as the head football coach at the University of Miami, Penn State announced Saturday that Manny Diaz has been hired as the Nittany Lions' new defensive coordinator.

Diaz said the following regarding his arrival at Penn State, per the school's official athletics website:

"My family and I are so excited to come to Happy Valley and join the Penn State family. The opportunity to lead Linebacker U is an honor and I will work every day to uphold that tradition. Penn State's defense has been among the nation's best, both historically and under Coach [James] Franklin. I will continue to pursue excellence with our defensive unit on a daily basis. I can't wait to get on the field with this talented group, to get to know them, and to ultimately develop them as football players, students and young men. Penn State's fans are the best in the country, and I look forward to seeing them this fall in Beaver Stadium!" 

Diaz spent the previous three seasons as the head coach at Miami, but he was fired Monday just as Miami came to terms with former Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal to become its new head coach.

The 47-year-old Diaz spent the past six seasons with Miami, including the past three as head coach. Overall, he posted a 21-15 record and led the Hurricanes to a bowl game each time.

After going 6-7 in 2019, Miami improved to 8-3 last season and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Miami began this season ranked No. 14, but it was unable to maintain the momentum gained last season and finished the regular season with a 7-5 mark.

Prior to becoming the head coach at Miami, Diaz was the Hurricanes' defensive coordinator from 2016-18. He also has extensive experience as a DC at Middle Tennessee, Mississippi State, Texas and Louisiana Tech.

Diaz will join the coaching staff of a Penn State team that was ranked as high as No. 4 this season but ultimately disappointed and finished the regular season 7-5.

Defense wasn't the issue for the Nittany Lions, though, as they ranked seventh in the nation, allowing just 16.8 points per game.

Diaz will serve as the replacement for Brent Pry, who was PSU's DC from 2016-21 before being named head coach at Virginia Tech last month.