There’s a realistic chance that Penn State will go into the 2024 season with two new coordinators.
If Manny Diaz leaves Penn State, it will almost certainly be his choice, not head coach James Franklin’s.
Diaz is running one of college football’s best units.
Penn State ranks second in the country in total defense, behind only Michigan, who it lost to 24-15 this past Saturday at Beaver Stadium. Diaz’s unit was also solid in his first season last year, being a big reason Penn State finished 11-2 and won the Rose Bowl. Diaz had a great reputation as a defensive wiz before coming to Penn State, best known for his time running Miami’s defense.
He later became Miami’s head coach, which he was until he was fired in controversial fashion after the 2021 regular season.
Penn State then hired Diaz to replace Brent Pry as defensive coordinator, and it’s worked out well enough to where Diaz’s name will be thrown around a lot come December when head coaching jobs open up.
A national analyst has Diaz on the hot board for a SEC head coaching job.
Mississippi State Hot Board via @Andy_Staples🔥
— On3 (@On3sports) November 14, 2023
Mississippi State announced the firing of coach Zach Arnett Monday, and Andy Staples of On3Sports made a hot board of candidates that could replace him.
Diaz was one of eight names listed.
This is at least the second hot board Diaz has been on in as many weeks. Last week, his name showed up on a USC defensive coordinator hot board after the firing of Alex Grinch. 247Sports’ Andrew Ivins also mentioned Diaz as a potential candidate for the NC State head coaching job should it open up this winter.