Update: It’s official.
— On3 (@On3sports) December 8, 2023
According to a report by Ross Dellinger of YahooSports!, Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will be the next head coach at Duke.
ESPN reported earlier that Diaz is the focus of the search. He's been the target now for a couple of days and a deal is expected soon.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 7, 2023
Earlier Thursday morning, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that Diaz had emerged as Duke’s No. 1 target and a decision was expected within the next 24 hours.
Well, it looks like the decision has been made.
If this is it for Diaz at Penn State, it would be a short, but effective run. This past regular season, Diaz was in charge of the nation’s No. 1 total defense. Many were shocked when he wasn’t one of the five finalists for the Broyles Award, presented annually to the nation’s top assistant coach. That award ended up going to Iowa DC Phil Parker.
Another reason this news shouldn’t be a surprise is because he has head coaching experience, and in the ACC at that.
For three seasons, Diaz was the boss at the University of Miami. In that time, “The U” went 21-15 overall and 16-9 in the ACC, winning more conference games than any ACC team besides Clemson, which was then a perennial national powerhouse. Manny Diaz ended up being fired by Miami in controversial fashion, and within the week, he was Penn State’s new DC, succeeding current Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry.
Penn State already knows it will be playing the Peach Bowl against Ole Miss Dec. 30 without one of its best defensive players in Chop Robinson. If Manny Diaz doesn’t coach Penn State in it’s bowl game, which seems likely that he won’t, that will be another loss. It remains to be seen what other key contributors Penn State will be without on New Year’s Eve Eve.