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Report: Pair of Penn State Assistants Potential Candidates for JMU Job

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

Two Penn State assistants have mentioned as Poe potential options for the James Madison head coaching job.

One of them is a name that has been hot this offseason: Manny Diaz.

Whether or not Diaz, who just wrapped up his second regular season as Penn State’s defensive coordinator, will stay in Happy Valley or leave for a head coaching job will be one of the biggest Penn State football storylines between now and the team’s bowl game, whenever that may be.

Per the Athletic, Nicole Diaz interviewed for the Duke head coaching job earlier this week.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s David Teel mentioned Diaz as a potential candidate based on conversations with “coaches and administrators.” As of now, there are no reports Diaz being interested in the James Madison coaching job, but there’s one for Penn State assistant DC and safeties coach, Anthony  Poindexter.

JMUSportsNews.com published an article breaking down James Madison’s potential options to replace Curt Cignetti, who left for the Indiana job earlier this week. Diaz’s name was on the list, but there was no mention of him expressing any interest.

The outlet did report that it’s heard Poindexter— who was also mentioned by Teel as a potential candidate— has expressed interest.

Poindexter, who has been at Penn State since 2021, is a football legend in the state of Virginia. He starred at UVA in the late 1990s and is in the College Football Hall of Fame. UVA offered Poindexter its head coaching job two Decembers ago, but he turned it down to stay at Penn State.

James Madison went 11-1 this season and is about to play in its first bowl game in just its second FBS season, so there’s potential for success there. JMU’s located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, which is less than two hours from Poindexter’s hometown of Lynchburg.

There’s intrigue to this job, but as Poindexter showed when he turned down his alma mater, it would take a lot for him to leave Penn State.

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