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Penn State Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz Nominated for Frank Broyles Award

Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics: Manny Diaz

On Tuesday, Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was named one of 51 coaches nominated for the Frank Broyles Award, which is given annually to the best assistant coach in college football.

Diaz is in his first season as the defensive coordinator, replacing Brent Pry after he became the head coach at Virginia Tech. Diaz was previously the head coach of Miami from 2019-21, going 21-15 in three seasons before being let go.

While Penn State may not statistically have a dominant defense yardage-wise across the board, they are allowing only 19 points per game which is good for 13th in the country. Penn State has improved in total yards per game allowed, going from allowing 359 yards per game to 339 yards per game so far this season.

Penn State’s pass defense has gotten especially better with having the sixth-lowest opponent completion percentage in the FBS at 53.2 percent, which is improved from allowing 60 percent last year. It also improved from having just short of two sacks per game to almost three sacks per game.

Penn State recorded six sacks and 16 tackles for loss two weeks ago against Indiana, and they recorded a shutout against Maryland on Saturday. Penn State has been able to make stops on fourth down in the red zone, a sack, or a turnover in a key moment to swing the momentum of games, and it’s due to Diaz coaching his team to play with energy and aggressiveness.

If Diaz were to win the Broyles Award, he would be the first coach in school history to do so.

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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