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Report: Penn State DC Manny Diaz ‘In the Mix’ for ACC HC Job

Photo by Matt Lynch, Nittany Sports Now: Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz during pregame warmups.

One of the biggest Penn State football storylines between now and the team’s bowl game— whenever and wherever that may be— is whether or not the team can hold onto its most celebrated assistant coach.

Manny Diaz has done wonders through two regular seasons as Penn State’s defensive coordinator.

This past season, he ran the No. 1 total defense in the country, and although he was curiously not named one of the five finalists for the Broyles Award, presented annually to the nation’s top assistant coach, he’s widely recognized as being one of the best at what he does.

That’s why it’s no surprise that his name is being discussed for an ACC head-coaching vacancy.

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reported Wednesday night that Diaz is “in the mix” for the Duke head coaching job, a position that became open over the weekend when Mike Elko left to become the boss at Texas A&M. Auberach also tweeted that Ohio State DC Jim Knowles— who Diaz went up against this season and last— and NC State DC Tony Gibson are also being looked at. This wouldn’t be Diaz’s first ACC head-coaching experience. Before coming to Penn State, Diaz was in charge at Miami for three seasons, ending his time there with a 21-15 record (16-9 in the ACC) before being fired in controversial fashion after the 2021 season. Within days, head coach James Franklin hired Diaz to succeed Brent Pry (Virginia Tech HC) as defensive coordinator.



The move has paid off big time.

Penn State is set to compete for a Big Ten championship next season, and retaining Diaz would be a huge plus.

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