This season’s coaching carousel in college football, with 10 Power 5 jobs already having come open, seems to have been crazier than most. Seemingly every eligible coach or coordinator has had his name bandied about in relation to an opening.
That was the case for Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. When former Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen left the Bulldogs to become the head coach at Florida, Diaz was quickly speculated to be a likely replacement for Mullen. Diaz, the architect of Miami’s defense that is ranked 14th in points allowed and third in turnovers, would be a hot commodity for most schools, but given that he coached two previous stints as the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State, he seemed to be an obvious frontrunner for the job.
Instead, the Bulldogs hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead Wednesday morning. Diaz figures to remain in Miami for at least another season.
Diaz spoke to Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday about how he handled the speculation. It was simple, he said — he ignored it.
“It’s not real,” Diaz told Porter. “People say things all the time. In this profession, you’re either about to be hired or fired, just about, right? I don’t pay attention to it because it’s literally not even reality.”
Diaz, the son of a former Miami mayor, grew up in Miami cheering for the Hurricanes. He told Porter that he is extremely satisfied with his current situation.
“There’s not a day I don’t thank God I coach at the University of Miami,” Diaz said. “The allure of being at Miami, it’s still with me every day as it was the first day I was here.”
While he called rumors of him taking he Mississippi State job not real, what is real — and what is getting all of Diaz’s focus right now — is Saturday’s ACC Championship game matchup with Clemson. Diaz said being preoccupied with preparation for that game has made it easy to ignore the speculation.
“It’s hard to think about anything but beating Clemson,” Diaz said.
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