PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Miami head coach Mark Richt said Thursday that defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is leaving for Temple.
“This morning defensive coordinator Manny Diaz informed me that he has accepted the head coach position at Temple University,” Richt said in a statement. “Throughout the process, Manny had been very transparent about the opportunity with both myself and Blake James.”
Diaz is expected to be introduced at a 3 p.m. news conference in Philadelphia.
Temple had been searching for a new coach since Geoff Collins left for Georgia Tech. Temple finished the regular season 8-4 and second in the American Athletic Conference East Division. The Owls will face Duke in the Independence Bowl.
Miami’s defense is one of the best in the country. The Hurricanes rank second nationally in total defense and lead the country in passing yards allowed, tackles for loss and third-down defense.
“In his three years in Coral Gables, Manny proved to be one of the top assistant coaches in the country and did an unbelievable job leading our defense,” Richt said. “I have no doubt that he will experience great success as a head coach.”
Diaz, who began his career as a graduate assistant at Florida State when Miami head coach Mark Richt was offensive coordinator for the Seminoles, has never been a head coach, but he’s been a successful defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State prior to reuniting with Richt in Miami in 2016.
The Hurricanes (7-5) will face Wisconsin (7-5) in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium later this month. Richt did not say if Diaz would coach in the bowl game.
“We have launched a national search for a new defensive coordinator and we have already received great interest from around the country,” Richt said. “Our football program, our university and our facilities are among the best in the country, and coaches want to be a part of something special. Our coaches are on the road recruiting the next generation of ‘Canes and I am excited about the young men scheduled to sign with us next week. Together, we are building champions.”
Miami and Temple are scheduled to open the 2020 season at Hard Rock Stadium.
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