Mississippi State defensive coordinator will leave for the same position at the University of Miami, the team announced on Saturday.
Diaz is a Miami native and graduate of Florida State University who spent one season at MSU after stints as defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech and Texas. He joins a Hurricanes staff led by former Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
Diaz, who is the son of former Miami mayor Manuel Alberto “Manny” Diaz, has 18 years of defensive coaching experience and has coached in 14 bowl games.
“Starkville is a special place and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity Dan Mullen and Scott Stricklin gave my family and I,” Diaz said in a release on Hurricanesports.com. “The Bulldog fans are like no other and it has been a privilege to be a part of such a great program, University and community. I wish the MSU players, coaches and fans all the best. Their future is bright. We knew it would take a very unique opportunity for us to consider leaving. God blessed me with a chance to return home, to coach in my hometown and to reunite with family. It is the kind of opportunity that comes along rarely in this business. It was simply too good to pass up. I can’t wait to help coach Richt build a championship program at Miami.”
After working at some of the nation’s top programs, Diaz has become one of the more prominent names in defensive coaching circles in the country.
“I’ve known him for over 20 years and I’ve watched him become one of the best defensive minds in the business,” Richt said. “He and our defensive staff will implement a 4-3 attacking style defense.”
Mississippi State’s defense allowed 391.2 yards and 23.2 points per game in 2015 .
#Miami names MissState's Manny Diaz as new defensive coordinator.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 2, 2016
MSU defensive coordinator heads home to Miami. https://t.co/D5D3g9b41E
— Michael Bonner (@MikeBBonner) January 2, 2016