Miami hires former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to replace Mark Richt as head coach

The Miami Hurricanes did not waste much time finding a replacement for the retiring Mark Richt.

Just hours after Richt’s announcement that he was stepping away from his alma mater, Miami announced that former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz had been hired as the team’s next head coach.

“Miami is home. The University of Miami is home. The U has truly been ‘the job’ for me since I first got into coaching,” Diaz said in a statement released by the school. “Having worked here over the past three years, I came to understand what it means to be part of ‘The U’ and came to appreciate the passion and commitment to excellence of all who proudly call themselves Canes.

“We will restore the football program to its place among the nation’s elite and we will do it with hard work, dedicated coaches, and outstanding student-athletes. I’m excited about working with Blake and his team to make that happen.”.

Diaz will be a college head coach for the first time.

“Manny is one of the nation’s elite coaches and the Canes’ Family has already embraced him and his incredible work ethic over the past three years,” Miami athletic director Blake James said in the statement. “He is absolutely the passionate and innovative leader that our program needs, and we will work together to build an incredible staff to move our program back into championship contention.”.

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Diaz actually had been named Temple’s next head coach, replacing Geoff Collins after his move to Georgia Tech, earlier this month. But Diaz returned after just 18 days to replace Richt, whose retirement clearly came as a surprise to many.

“As excited as I am about staying home, I hate the way this unfolded with respect to Temple,” Diaz said in Miami’s statement. “I was given a tremendous opportunity to lead the Temple program and I was actively engaged in doing just that when I woke up this morning. I never saw this coming, no one did. I do hope that the Temple players, administration and fans appreciate the uniqueness of this situation and the overwhelming pull to stay home.”.

In addition to leading strong defenses as defensive coordinator at “The U” the past three seasons, Diaz is credited with being one of the creators of the Turnover Chain, which took the college football world by storm during Miami’s 10-0 start in 2017.