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Penn State Hires Manny Diaz as New Defensive Coordinator

A big hire for James Franklin to run his defense.

Penn State announced on Saturday morning the hiring of former Miami (FL) head coach Manny Diaz as the team’s new defensive coordinator. Diaz replaces Brent Pry, who was hired as new head coach at Virginia Tech.

Prior to his short tenure as Miami head coach, Diaz enjoyed success as a defensive coordinator at programs such as Miami, Texas, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee.

“My family and I are so excited to come to Happy Valley and join the Penn State family,” said Diaz. “The opportunity to lead Linebacker U is an honor and I will work every day to uphold that tradition. Penn State’s defense has been among the nation’s best, both historically and under Coach Franklin. I will continue to pursue excellence with our defensive unit on a daily basis. I can’t wait to get on the field with this talented group, to get to know them, and to ultimately develop them as football players, students and young men. Penn State’s fans are the best in the country, and I look forward to seeing them this fall in Beaver Stadium.”

“We are thrilled to add Manny Diaz as our defensive coordinator,” said Franklin. “Manny is a veteran defensive play caller whose head coaching experience will bring tremendous value to our organization. He has an innovative approach to complement his extensive Xs and Os knowledge which he developed through his stops at multiple Power Five conferences. Manny’s defensive philosophy is in line with our scheme and will help in the transition with our current team. His defenses have been aggressive and led the country in several categories throughout his career. We are excited to have Manny and his family join us in Happy Valley!”

Diaz was fired by Miami on December 6 and reportedly received a $8 million buyout after having an overall record of 21-15 in his years as Hurricanes head coach. He was hired in 2018 to replace Mark Richt.

Diaz has deep recruiting ties to the South Florida area which will no doubt help in Penn State’s recruiting in Florida.


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