Manny Diaz introduced as Temple head coach, says he'll coach Hurricanes in bowl game

Architect of Miami's No.2 defense praises Temple's 'championship culture'

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is introduced as Temple's head football coach, Dec. 13, 2018, in Philadelphia.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was introduced as Temple head coach Thursday afternoon.

His introductory news conference came just hours before Miami head coach Mark Richt announced Diaz was leaving for Temple.

"This morning defensive coordinator Manny Diaz informed me that he has accepted the head coach position at Temple University," Richt said in a statement. "Throughout the process, Manny had been very transparent about the opportunity with both myself and (athletic director) Blake James."

During his news conference in Philadelphia, Diaz praised the warm reception he received.

"This is better than what was on the brochure," Diaz said.

Diaz said he has had other opportunities to be a head coach, but it needed to be the right fit, not only for him but his family. He said Temple has that "championship culture" for which he had been looking.

Although he grew up in Miami, where his father was once mayor, Diaz said he has family from Philadelphia.

Temple had been searching for a new coach since Geoff Collins left for Georgia Tech. The Owls finished the regular season 8-4 and second in the American Athletic Conference East Division. They'll face Duke in the Independence Bowl.

Diaz's defense has been one of the best in the country. The Hurricanes rank second nationally in total defense and lead the country in passing yards allowed, tackles for loss and third-down defense.

"In his three years in Coral Gables, Manny proved to be one of the top assistant coaches in the country and did an unbelievable job leading our defense," Richt said. "I have no doubt that he will experience great success as a head coach."

Diaz said the hallmarks of his program will be integrity, toughness and competitiveness. He said he's "comfortable" setting high expectations at Temple and touted it as "player's program" that will welcome former players back to campus.

While he didn't say whether he intended to bring anyone with him from Miami, Diaz spoke of "several key coaches" he wanted to assemble headed into the early signing period.

Diaz, who began his career as a graduate assistant at Florida State when Miami head coach Mark Richt was offensive coordinator for the Seminoles, has never been a head coach before, but he's been a successful defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State.

Manny Diaz thanked several of his former head coaches, among them Bobby Bowden, Mack Brown and Mark Richt.

He thanked several of his former coaches, among them Bobby Bowden ("maybe the greatest to ever do it"), Mack Brown and Richt.

The Hurricanes (7-5) will face Wisconsin (7-5) in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium later this month. Diaz said he will coach in the bowl game.

"We have launched a national search for a new defensive coordinator and we have already received great interest from around the country," Richt said. "Our football program, our university and our facilities are among the best in the country, and coaches want to be a part of something special. Our coaches are on the road recruiting the next generation of 'Canes and I am excited about the young men scheduled to sign with us next week. Together, we are building champions."

Miami and Temple are scheduled to open the 2020 season at Hard Rock Stadium.

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