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Penn State hires Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator

Sportsnaut
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz puts his headset on against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz puts his headset on against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami head coach Manny Diaz is the new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Penn State.

Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin announced the hiring on Saturday, just five days after the Hurricanes fired Diaz and replaced him with former Oregon coach Mario Cristobal.

“We are thrilled to add Manny Diaz as our defensive coordinator,” Franklin said in a news release. “Manny is a veteran defensive play caller whose head coaching experience will bring tremendous value to our organization. He has an innovative approach to complement his extensive Xs & Os knowledge which he developed through his stops at multiple Power Five conferences.

“Manny’s defensive philosophy is in line with our scheme and will help in the transition with our current team. His defenses have been aggressive and led the country in several categories throughout his career. We are excited to have Manny and his family join us in Happy Valley!”

Diaz, 47, led Miami to a 7-5 record in 2021 and was 21-15 with three bowl appearances in three seasons at the helm.

His 24 years of collegiate coaching experience include 13 seasons as a defensive coordinator at Miami, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Texas and Middle Tennessee.

“My family and I are so excited to come to Happy Valley and join the Penn State family,” Diaz said in the release. “The opportunity to lead Linebacker U is an honor and I will work every day to uphold that tradition. Penn State’s defense has been among the nation’s best, both historically and under Coach Franklin.

“I will continue to pursue excellence with our defensive unit on a daily basis. I can’t wait to get on the field with this talented group, to get to know them, and to ultimately develop them as football players, students and young men. Penn State’s fans are the best in the country, and I look forward to seeing them this fall in Beaver Stadium!”

Diaz replaces Brent Pry, who left Penn State last month to become the head coach at Virginia Tech.

The Nittany Lions are 7-5 overall and finished 4-5 in the Big Ten this season. They will face No. 21 Arkansas in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day in Tampa, Fla.

–Field Level Media