Duke has hired Manny Diaz to be the next head football coach of the Blue Devils. Diaz was the head coach at Miami (FL) from 2019-21 and has spent the last two seasons as DC at Penn State, overseeing one of the best defenses in the country (led FBS with 223.3 yds allowed per game).
“As our process unfolded, it became abundantly clear that Manny Diaz is the right fit for Duke University and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Manny, Stephanie, and their family into the Duke community,” AD Nina King said in a release. “Manny’s previous experiences have prepared him for this opportunity, and he is, quite simply, an outstanding football coach who will capitalize on the positive momentum of this program. An elite communicator and collaborator, Manny possesses the dynamic ability to cultivate impactful relationships with internal and external constituents surrounding a successful football program. As Duke’s head football coach, I am confident that Manny will lead the young men in our program to reach and surpass their aspirations of achievement both on and off the field.”
Diaz will replace Mike Elko, who left for the Texas A&M job after two highly successful seasons in Durham. The Blue Devils (7-5) are playing Birmingham Bowl later this month and last year, Elko’s first at the helm, won 9 games for the first time since 2014.
“We are grateful and humbled for this opportunity and could not be more excited to be the head football coach at Duke University,” Diaz said. “I’d like to give a special thanks to Dr. Price and Nina for their trust in me and our family as well as a true commitment to this program. Duke University is an elite institution in every facet, and we are excited to be a part of it. I’m beyond excited to get to work.”
Diaz is a Miami-native who went 21-15 in three seasons with the Hurricanes, reaching a bowl game each year. Over the last two years on James Franklin’s staff at Penn State, Diaz has led arguably the best defensive unit in all of FBS. The Nittany Lions allowed less yardage than anyone this season and opponents averaged just 11.4 points per game against them, third lowest in FBS behind just Ohio State and Michigan.
Diaz has extensive experience as a defensive leader, having served as the DC at Miami, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Texas and Middle Tennessee during his career. He got started as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Florida State, in 1998 under the legendary head coach Bobby Bowden. He was part of the Seminoles’ staff for the team’s 1999 BCS National Championship crown.
credit to Duke Athletics for the image