STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) — Penn State hired former Miami coach Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Nittany Lions.
Diaz replaces Brent Pry, who took the head coaching job at Virginia Tech at the end of November. Pry had been with head coach James Franklin for 11 years dating back to their time at Vanderbilt. Pry spent eight seasons with Penn State, six of which he was defensive coordinator.
“We are thrilled to add Manny Diaz as our defensive coordinator,” Franklin said. “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!”
This comes less than a week after Diaz was fired by Miami after three years. He was replaced by Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, a Miami alum. Diaz spent the last six seasons at Miami, and has served as head coach since 2019.
“My family and I are so excited to come to Happy Valley and join the Penn State family,” Diaz said. “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 has 24 years of collegiate coaching experience, and coached the Hurricanes to three bowl appearances in each of his three seasons. He’s coached in 19 bowl games overall with a 13-6 record.
Prior to taking over as head coach, Diaz was Miami’s defensive coordinator. During Diaz’s coaching tenure in Miami, the Hurricanes ranked in the top 10 nationally in tackles for loss each year. Since 2017, Miami is 10th nationally among Power Five teams in takeaways per season (20.6).
Diaz has also coached at Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Texas, Middle Tennessee and NC State.
A graduate of Florida State in 1995, Diaz began his coaching career with the Seminoles in 1998 and 1999 as a graduate assistant. He was part of Florida State’s national title-winning coaching staff in 1999.
2022-pres. – Penn State (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2019-21 – Miami (head coach)
2016-18 – Miami (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2015 – Mississippi State (defensive coordinator)
2014 – Louisiana Tech (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2011-13 – Texas (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2010 – Mississippi State (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2008-09 – Middle Tennessee (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2006-07 – Middle Tennessee (defensive coordinator/safeties)
2004-05 – NC State (safeties/special teams)
2002-03 – NC State (linebackers)
2000-01 – NC State (graduate assistant)
1998-99 – Florida State (graduate assistant)
Penn State will play Arkansas in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida on January 1. The Nittany Lions finished the 2021 regular season with a 7-5 record having lost five of their last seven games.