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Duke hires Penn State DC and ex-Miami coach Manny Diaz to lead Blue Devils, AP source says

by Lucas Garcia
5 comments
Football Coaching Hire

Duke University has selected Manny Diaz, currently the defensive coordinator at Penn State and former head coach at Miami, to lead their football program, according to an undisclosed source with direct knowledge, as reported by The Big Big News on Thursday evening. The identity of the source remains confidential due to the ongoing finalization of the deal and the university’s impending official announcement. Diaz steps into the role vacated by Mike Elko, who accepted a position at Texas A&M.

This decision signifies a homecoming for Diaz, who returns to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the state of North Carolina. In addition to his three-year tenure as Miami’s head coach, he spent six seasons on Chuck Amato’s coaching staff from 2000 to 2005 at North Carolina State, located approximately 20 miles from Duke’s campus in Durham.

During his tenure at Miami from 2019 to 2021, Diaz achieved a 21-15 record and secured two bowl game appearances, boasting a 16-9 record in ACC competition. However, the university dismissed him on the same day they hired the current coach, Mario Cristobal, in an effort to expedite their return to national prominence.

Diaz has recently served as both the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Nittany Lions at Penn State for the past two seasons. Under his leadership, the defense ranked among the top 20 in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for both total and scoring defense in 2022. In the current season, Penn State (10-2) boasts the top-ranked total defense, allowing only 223.3 yards per game, and ranks third in scoring defense, allowing just 11.4 points per game as they prepare for the Peach Bowl showdown against Ole Miss.

Diaz’s extensive coaching career includes previous roles as defensive coordinator at Miami, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Texas, and Middle Tennessee.

Elko’s departure from Duke, following 16 wins in just two seasons, marked an unusually brief coaching stint in Durham. The last time a Duke football coach remained in the role for three seasons or fewer was when Steve Spurrier left for Florida after a 1987-1989 tenure that included the program’s last ACC championship in his final season. Notably, Elko and Spurrier are the only Duke football coaches to serve for three or fewer years since 1925, encompassing the university’s time in the Southern Conference before becoming a founding ACC member in 1953.

Duke, with a season record of 7-5, is scheduled to face Troy in the Birmingham Bowl on December 23.

This hiring marks the third significant appointment in nearly three years under the leadership of athletic director Nina King, following Elko’s arrival and Jon Scheyer’s succession as the designated successor to the legendary basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, upon his retirement in 2022.

This report includes contributions from AP Sports Writer Aaron Beard.

For the latest updates on the AP Top 25 poll throughout the season, you can subscribe to alerts at https://bigbignews.net/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and stay informed about college football at https://bigbignews.net/college-football.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Football Coaching Hire

Who is Manny Diaz, and what is his coaching background?

Manny Diaz is a football coach who has been hired as the head coach for Duke University’s football program. He has previous experience as the head coach of the University of Miami and has worked as the defensive coordinator at Penn State, among other coaching positions.

What led to Manny Diaz’s hiring at Duke?

Duke hired Manny Diaz as its head coach to replace Mike Elko, who accepted a coaching position at Texas A&M. The decision was made with the aim of revitalizing the Duke football program.

What is significant about Manny Diaz’s return to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and North Carolina?

Diaz’s return to the ACC and North Carolina is noteworthy because he has previously coached in the conference and in the state of North Carolina during his career, bringing a wealth of experience to Duke.

How did Manny Diaz perform as the head coach of the University of Miami?

During his tenure as Miami’s head coach from 2019 to 2021, Diaz achieved a record of 21-15 and led the team to two bowl game appearances. He also had a successful record in ACC play, with a 16-9 record, before being dismissed by the university.

What are Manny Diaz’s recent coaching accomplishments at Penn State?

Manny Diaz served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Penn State for the past two seasons. Under his leadership, the Penn State defense ranked among the top 20 in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for both total and scoring defense in 2022. The team currently holds the top-ranked total defense and ranks third in scoring defense for the current season.

Is Mike Elko’s departure from Duke unusual?

Yes, Mike Elko’s departure from Duke after just two seasons is considered unusual for a Duke football coach. It marks one of the shorter coaching tenures in the program’s history.

How does Manny Diaz’s hiring fit into Duke’s football history?

Manny Diaz’s hiring marks a significant addition to Duke’s football history, as he becomes one of the few coaches to lead the program, following the likes of Steve Spurrier, in a relatively short span.

What are the immediate plans for Duke football?

Duke, with a season record of 7-5, is scheduled to compete against Troy in the Birmingham Bowl on December 23. This game will be one of the early challenges for Coach Diaz in his new role.

How does Manny Diaz’s hiring align with the overall athletic leadership at Duke University?

This hiring represents the third major appointment under the leadership of athletic director Nina King, following Mike Elko’s arrival and Jon Scheyer’s designation as the successor to legendary basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski upon his retirement.

Where can I get updates on college football and the AP Top 25 poll?

For the latest updates on college football and the AP Top 25 poll, you can subscribe to alerts at https://bigbignews.net/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and stay informed about college football news at https://bigbignews.net/college-football.

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5 comments

DukeAlumna December 8, 2023 - 8:15 am

Good luck to Diaz and the Blue Devils in the Birmingham Bowl! Let’s go Duke!

Reply
DukeBlueDevil December 8, 2023 - 10:42 am

our footbal team ain’t been doin’ so hot lately, so hopin’ diaz can turn things around fast!

Reply
GrammarNerd December 8, 2023 - 10:47 am

Some grammer errors here. But overall, informative piece on Manny Diaz’s hiring at Duke.

Reply
SportsFan88 December 8, 2023 - 4:09 pm

i’m exited about diaz comin’ back to ACC, he’s got expereince in the confrence.

Reply
JoeB December 8, 2023 - 6:16 pm

manny diaz got the job at duke uni to coach football after bein’ at miami and penn state. dem devils want to get better, ya know?

Reply

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