Penn State and head coach James Franklin have their next defensive coordinator. The program announced the hiring of former Miami head coach Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator and linebackers.
Diaz comes to Penn State after a three-year run as head coach at Miami. Before that, Diaz has spent roughly two-decades as a defensive coaching specialist. He started his time as a defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State for four seasons, where the Blue Raiders' defense led their conference in sacks and tackles for loss twice, and finished no lower than third in the league in either category during his tenure.
In 2010, during his first stint as Mississippi State defensive coordinator, 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.
Diaz then coached three seasons at Texas (2011-13). He was let go as Longhorns defensive coordinator during the 2013 season. In his second stint at Mississippi State in 2015, 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.
In his first season as defensive coordinator at Miami, he helped turn the Hurricanes into one of the more formidable units in college football. Miami was ranked No. 20 nationally in total defense (up from No. 69 the previous season), No. 12 in scoring defense, No. 22 in team sacks and tied for No. 8 in defensive touchdowns allowed.
Continuing the impressive trends from Diaz’s first year running the defense, the Hurricanes ranked among the nation’s leaders in several defensive categories in 2017, including first nationally in team sacks. That season, he was nominated for the Broyles Award, honoring college football’s top assistant coach.
Diaz was named Miami's head coach in 2019 after Mark Richt's retirement. In three seasons in charge of the Hurricanes, Diaz went 21-15 (16-9 in the ACC).
Welcome to Happy Valley, Coach Diaz!