Today, the University of Miami announced a major hire on new coach Mark Richt’s staff: defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) January 2, 2016
Diaz worked for the Florida State Seminoles in the late nineties as a graduate assistant, at the same time that Richt was FSU’s offensive coordinator. In the school’s official press release, Richt cites his 20+-year relationship with Diaz as a factor in the signing.
Where Richt has established continuity as a coach — leading the University of Georgia program from 2001 until this season — Diaz has had a more scenic route getting to Miami, as the Hurricanes will be the sixth school he has coached at since his tenure at Florida State.
In the 2015 season, Diaz was the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State, who finished 9-4, although they were undefeated outside of SEC Conference play. Diaz’s defense allowed 23.2 points per game and 391.2 yards per game, including 174.6 rushing yards per game. In the season before that, Diaz coordinated the defense for Louisiana Tech, who finished 9-5 in Conference USA, allowing 24.7 points per game and 362.5 yards per game.
This season, the University of Miami finished 8-5 even though they allowed more points per game (28.2) than they scored per game (27.8).