Diaz introduced as Miami's new head coach, speaks on vision for the future

Diaz introduced as Miami's new head coach, speaks on vision for the future

Stefan Adams
The Miami Hurricanes officially introduced Manny Diaz as their 25th head coach this morning at a press conference on campus. For Diaz, a kid who grew up in the city of Miami, the moment had just a bit more significance.

“It’s actually January 2nd 2019, 35 years to the day since Miami won its first national championship vs. Nebraska,” Diaz said. “For the 9 year old kid who was up way past his bedtime and watched Kenny Calhoun bat that ball down and watched the Canes storm the field, the fact that I’m here standing in front of you right now, if you need more evidence that this is a ‘God’ story, that’s it. And when you combine the unusual events of this past weekend, certainly I believe that God’s hand was in this, and I want to thank him for the opportunity to stand before you today.”

After being named as head coach in a press release by UM by nightfall of a whirlwind Sunday, certainly the timing of the whole situation was unique for Diaz. 18 days ago, Diaz was named the head coach at Temple and he told the packed conference room that he woke up Sunday morning with the goal to begin putting a championship staff together for the Owls that day.

That quickly changed when the UM job came open after Mark Richt announced his retirement by the early afternoon. Blake James and University leadership moved fast to lock up Diaz, who was the #1 choice from the jump. By that night, Diaz was Miami’s new head coach.

“I had every confidence that Mark Richt would bounce back from this past season and all signs were pointing to him having a long, successful career at his alma mater,” Diaz said of his thought process after leaving for Temple. “For what happened on Sunday, there were a series of events that all had to happen in proper sequence. If any of those things were out of order, I’d be the head coach at Temple.”

Diaz thanked Richt for bringing him to UM 3 years ago as Miami’s defensive coordinator, and for being a key mentor to him in his coaching journey.

“He leaves this program in much better shape than when he found it,” Diaz said of Richt. “In my mind there’s no way (the IPF) is there today, no way that’s a reality, without the effort of Mark Richt. That was no small endeavor. And when you’re trying to lead a football team and coach with excellence, that was an amazing achievement and something the University will forever benefit from.

“His selfless leadership was an example to everyone on our coaching staff. He cared so much for this school and this program, and quite simply, he’s the best man I ever worked for… We have a great personal relationship, professional relationship, he’s a person I’ll be leaning on for advice in the future because I have a lot of respect for who he is and what he’s done”

What makes Diaz think he’s ready to be head coach?

“All the preparation you’ve had throughout your career,” Diaz said. “When you get put in this situation you know you’re ready … you have to surround yourself with great staff, people you can lean on when things arise you may not have the answer for.”

Things did not go smoothly for the Canes in 2018, after a preseason #8 ranking eventually saw UM crash and burn to a 7-6 finish, culminating in a beatdown by Wisconsin 35-3 in the Pinstripe Bowl last week.

“Fifty-two weeks ago, we were in a New Year’s 6 game, obviously this year at the University of Miami we had a setback,” Diaz sad. “Things can change quickly in football, in both directions, as we’ve seen. Success is not always linear.

“I can call on different examples. We all saw Notre Dame walk out of Hard Rock Stadium 13 months ago with their tail between their legs. This year, they were one of the top 4 teams in college football according to the Playoff committee. Clemson University, Dabo (Swinney’s) third year they won six games. It took a reboot at Clemson. They haven’t won less than ten games since. There is precedence for things changing quickly in the world of college football.”

Before Diaz was essentially promoted, there seemed to be no plan to get rid of anyone on the staff outside of possibly adding an offensive coordinator. However, Diaz believes in holding the coaches just as accountable as the players and elected not to retain any of UM's offensive coaches in his first day on the job as head coach. Strength and Conditioning coach Gus Felder was let go as well.

“There has to be accountability. We’re going to hold our players accountable for their actions, and we know as coaches we have to be held by the same account,” Diaz said. “What happened this year was not good enough at the University of Miami. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was I had to announce to the offensive staff they would not be retained in 2019, and I also had to do the same thing with coach Felder in the weight room… We will be making a change in the strength room. That hire will also be announced soon.

“I felt that it was very important for our players, when they returned from winter break, that they felt they were stepping into a different program. The things that Mark Richt set in place: the heart, the value, the character, all matter in this program. That will all stay the same. But our tactics on how we’re going to achieve success, that’s going to be different and I want our player to understand things are different now.”

Diaz also addressed the divide in the locker room between the offense and defense, saying the down season was on everybody involved with the program.

“Everyone in this building has to own 7-6, starting with me. There’s not a blame to the people that were not retained on the staff as if it were all their fault,” Diaz said. “If you wore a ‘U’ on the side of your helmet last year, or if you wore it over your heart on a coaching shirt, we are all responsible for the 7-6. Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to do everything we can to make sure that never happens again. So, I do not want to have a tone set where certain guys think they have status, certain guys can think, ‘Well, that wasn’t on me.’ That is not true. It is on all of us.”

How do you fix that culture?

“Culturally, what we had on defense, we have to spread through the offense, entire locker room,” Diaz said. “What we do is hire a great staff, set the parameters, set the standards. In 2016, we raised incredibly high standards, never spoke of what happened in the past because in reality it didn’t matter… It’s very important we set the culture, we won’t talk about last year and what happened. What happened in 2018 will have no impact on 2019, just like 2017 had no effect on how 2018 turned out… We have to get the culture united in all three phases of the team.”

To replace what was lost on the offensive staff, Diaz said his top priority is to find an offensive coordinator that can help modernize the Miami offense.

"Immediately, the vision goes to the future. My first task is to hire an outstanding staff ready to take Miami to another level, where we can compete in the mix for the college football playoffs every year. That starts with the offensive coordinator,” Diaz said. “I have been amazed and excited by the candidates that have approached me with interest to coach at the University of Miami. This is a place where people want to be and people understand the potential currently sitting in our locker room, and the potential that can be recruited to this school in a very short radius. Great coaches want to be at UM. Right now, I’ve got three finalists for that position, and I will tell you this - the guy in fourth place would be amazing.”

As for when fans can expect an OC hire in place, Diaz is unsure at the moment, but is certain that he won’t rush things until he finds the right fit.

“The timing of when it is going to happen is when it’s gonna happen,” Diaz said. “I’m not interested in it happening fast, I’m interested in it happening right. It will be the person that is the right fit for the program. There are other outside factors at play, in terms of when people will be available, but the hire will be announced when the hire is right. All that matters to me is that we get the right person in the right position.”

In terms of his vision for the offense, Diaz made sure to note he wants an attacking offensive style.

“What I envision is the same as when we came here three years ago on defense, now we look to set the tone for the entire football team. If I can sum it up in one sentence: `Our responsibility is to play like the Miami Hurricanes,’” Diaz said. “What should the Miami Hurricanes look like? The first thing we established on defense is that we’re going to be tough. We will not be out-hit, we will not be out-toughed. Next, Miami is always known for their great speed. We’re going to play fast, let our athletes go.

“Lastly, we’re going to have fun, play with passion. This is a tough city, this is a passionate city. The fans of the Miami Hurricanes want to see their teams play with toughness and see their teams play with passion. When you come see Miami play, you should see one team having infinitely more fun than the other team is. And we all know that winning is certainly more fun than the alternative.”

What does he mean by “toughness” specifically?

“Our toughness will always start up front,” Diaz said. “Our toughness will be the ability to run the football. By toughness, when you think about all the Miami greats, it means the toughness to make the tough catch, the tough throw. And you do it in the toughest games. When you walk through the halls here at Miami, and you see all the great names of the guys that have done it here in the past, that’s what they did – they made the toughest plays in the toughest games.”

When asked if Miami will move to a more spread-based attack on offense, Diaz said the specific scheme is not as important as the overall mentality and philosophy on how Diaz plans to score points.

“The word `spread’ has been dragged around to the point that, as a defensive coordinator, I don’t even know what the word `spread’ means anymore, there are so many styles,” Diaz said. “I want to be cutting edge, modern, an offense that creates problems for the defense, that puts the defense in conflict, that presents issues before the snap and during the snap that forces mistakes.

“Part of the reason we are what we are on defense is because we are structurally designed to make the offense make a mistake, that’s why we make the negative plays that we make… To think that you can ask your kids to be right all the time, to be perfect all the time is unrealistic. Sometimes it’s more fun when the other guy messes up for you. So, I think part of our job as a coach is to demand great execution, but at the same time, what can we do to make those other guys mess up?”

After offensive coordinator, Diaz mentioned his second priority is to “fix” the quarterback position.

“We have some young guys on campus that have shown they have flashes, shown they have ability,” Diaz said. “But you don’t win at the University of Miami with flashes and potential. You have to perform. Certainly, everyone will be given a clean slate, we’ll start from scratch with what we have on our campus and at the same time, look throughout the country in every nook and cranny to make sure we’re best positioned in the quarterback room and we’re ready to attack the 2019 season. We’ll have a fantastic offensive coordinator, a great quarterback coach and a great scheme.”

When asked about N’Kosi Perry’s status with the team and if he will be suspended at all to start 2019, Diaz simply said everyone in the program will start fresh, but that discipline and accountability would be core values in his program.

"I couldn't address super-secret suspensions (laughed)," Diaz said. "It's very important our football team have discipline and great accountability. There is a clean slate on how they behave and act, especially at that position."

On the other side of the ball, Diaz feels things are set on the defensive staff, but plans on making one more hire.

“Defensively, the core is set, the core is in place. I will be announcing one more hire on that side of the ball, which I will announce quickly,” Diaz said. “But I do want to announce how much I trust and respect Ephraim Banda, Jonathan Patke, Jess Simpson and Mike Rumph. All of those men have outstanding futures in front of them. All of those men have a chance to lead a defense on their own one day, or I’ll take it a step further, to be a head coach."

Recruiting-wise, Diaz feels it is key to lock up the best players in the tri-county area every year and plans to make South Florida recruiting even more of a priority.

“It will be very important that we stay true to who we are in our identity. We will always be defined in how we recruit Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach county, pushing out towards I-4,” Diaz said. “We will recruit nationally to find the players we can’t find inside that footprint. We have to make sure that the high school football coaches in South Florida know that we are honest and true with our evaluations, that the guys that make it happen on the field down here can make it happen for the Miami Hurricanes as well. It’s always been that way. Where the recruiting services rank them is of no consequence to us. If you can play in South Florida, then you can play in college football, and that’s been proven over and over again.”

Both Mike Pinckney and Shaq Quarterman announced over the past few days that they would be returning for the 2019 season, and Diaz feels that it was a crucial move to help develop the younger players, as the two are leaders on the field.

“Both those guys, those guys are Canes and are winners. What they want more than anything is for Miami to win. … Miami’s always been a program where player accountability is so crucial to Miami’s success. They realize they can do more in holding the guys, especially the younger guys, accountable.”

With Joe Jackson’s status for 2019 still up in the air, what does Diaz feel like the pass rusher will do?

“I don’t know where that’s going to end up,” Diaz said.

As the father of the turnover chain for the defense, will Diaz now come up with some type of celebration for the offense?

"If it helps us score points, who knows what will happen?" Diaz said.

At the end of the day, Diaz admits that while he’s excited now, it will be about the work the team puts in over the next 8 or 9 months that will really determine what the team’s outlook for the future will be.

“I’m excited about what’s next,” Diaz said. “240 days from now, I don’t know if anyone will remember what was said in this press conference when we’re up in Orlando (against the Florida Gators).”
 

Comments (56)

“Part of the reason we are what we are on defense is because we are structurally designed to make the offense make a mistake, that’s why we make the negative plays that we make… To think that you can ask your kids to be right all the time, to be perfect all the time is unrealistic. Sometimes it’s more fun when the other guy messes up for you. So, I think part of our job as a coach is to demand great execution, but at the same time, what can we do to make those other guys mess up?”


Alright, which of you guys is Manny? He's obviously been reading @Lance Roffers and @Roman Marciante.
 
LOL

He mentioned God in the same way Genghis Khan did.

Are you familiar?

came little late... but right on cue. So Khan wasn't atheist? At least you can rule out religion being de-masculinizing.
 
came little late... but right on cue. So Khan wasn't atheist? At least you can rule out religion being de-masculinizing.

I never said that about religion. I'll simply stated over and over that Mark richt use religion as a crutch. The hole rings and trophies collect dust horseshit ... we lost but we are still blessed by our Lord and savior.

Bobby Bowden is a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Bill McCartney, the former coach of Colorado and the founder of the fellowship of Christian athletes, was a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Dabo Swinney is a very religious man, but he is an assassin.

Neither of those coaches were ever referred to as "Reverends and Pastors," despite their strong religious principles. That is, because their desires to be great coaches radiated from them and their programs.
 
I never said that about religion. I'll simply stated over and over that Mark richt use religion as a crutch. The hole rings and trophies collect dust horseshit ... we lost but we are still blessed by our Lord and savior.

Bobby Bowden is a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Bill McCartney, the former coach of Colorado and the founder of the fellowship of Christian athletes, was a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Dabo Swinney is a very religious man, but he is an assassin.

Neither of those coaches were ever referred to as "Reverends and Pastors," despite their strong religious principles. That is, because their desires to be great coaches radiated from them and their programs.


"Pastor" Richt was not in the same category with those guys because of his coaching skills and ability to adapt. It had nothing to do with the bible. I think you now understand that. And that renders your other thread (showing the bible in a trash can) pointless and irrelevant. Just admit it and have a happy new year, God willing.
 
I never said that about religion. I'll simply stated over and over that Mark richt use religion as a crutch. The hole rings and trophies collect dust horseshit ... we lost but we are still blessed by our Lord and savior.

Bobby Bowden is a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Bill McCartney, the former coach of Colorado and the founder of the fellowship of Christian athletes, was a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Dabo Swinney is a very religious man, but he is an assassin.

Neither of those coaches were ever referred to as "Reverends and Pastors," despite their strong religious principles. That is, because their desires to be great coaches radiated from them and their programs.

Dabo Swinney is a religious man only insofar as he believes he IS god, and so do his hypocritical followers.

That guy is more full of horseshit than Biff's car.
 
I never said that about religion. I'll simply stated over and over that Mark richt use religion as a crutch. The hole rings and trophies collect dust horseshit ... we lost but we are still blessed by our Lord and savior.

Bobby Bowden is a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Bill McCartney, the former coach of Colorado and the founder of the fellowship of Christian athletes, was a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Dabo Swinney is a very religious man, but he is an assassin.

Neither of those coaches were ever referred to as "Reverends and Pastors," despite their strong religious principles. That is, because their desires to be great coaches radiated from them and their programs.

couldnt agree with this more....

Richt was/is soft, at least by the end, he was
 
Energy, intensity, and accountability; 2019 is off to a great start.

That's not just coach speak, you can tell by how his D-played, Diaz is a guy that can motivate you to run through walls for him, follow him into hell if necessary.

The mere question about Perry in the presser was a downer and tangible link to the problems of this season. Two years is enough for me, unlikely he can succeed in an accountability system or with the skill set he's shown.
 
"Pastor" Richt was not in the same category with those guys because of his coaching skills and ability to adapt. It had nothing to do with the bible. I think you now understand that. And that renders your other thread (showing the bible in a trash can) pointless and irrelevant. Just admit it and have a happy new year, God willing.


Like I said, Mark richt used religion as a crutch.
 
Bobby Bowden is a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Bill McCartney, the former coach of Colorado and the founder of the fellowship of Christian athletes, was a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Dabo Swinney is a very religious man, but he is an assassin.

Neither of those coaches were ever referred to as "Reverends and Pastors," despite their strong religious principles. That is, because their desires to be great coaches radiated from them and their programs.
Bobby Bowden is a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Bill McCartney, the former coach of Colorado and the founder of the fellowship of Christian athletes, was a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

McCartney was a scumbag. He knew he stole the 5th down game and he rationalized it by using the bad field conditions that day as an excuse. Bobby wasn't an assassin. In '87, he went for the win because his players insisted. In '92 he preferred to settle for the tie. We were in his head. He was more of a bully. He was afraid of us, but when in 2000 when he needed to run up the score to impress the BCS computers, he didn't hesitate to do it against his own son because he knew he could. Jimmy to this day will tell you, he doesn't regret going for two against Notre Dame and would do it again 1000 times. Tom Osborne to this day says he made the right call going for two. Those last two are more deserving of that title.
 
Like I said, Mark richt used religion as a crutch.

whatever... you can thank Pastor Richt for staying true to his Christian principals and donating 1 million to the building of the IPF, and doing the right thing leaving with no financial strings attached. He walked away from millions not to hamstring the administration's ability in pursuit of their next head coach.
 
I never said that about religion. I'll simply stated over and over that Mark richt use religion as a crutch. The hole rings and trophies collect dust horseshit ... we lost but we are still blessed by our Lord and savior.

Bobby Bowden is a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Bill McCartney, the former coach of Colorado and the founder of the fellowship of Christian athletes, was a very religious man, but he was an assassin.

Dabo Swinney is a very religious man, but he is an assassin.

Neither of those coaches were ever referred to as "Reverends and Pastors," despite their strong religious principles. That is, because their desires to be great coaches radiated from them and their programs.

Jesus, you kill your own point. You said in that other stupid thread that Manny needed to drop religion because that was Richt's problem. Now you're saying it's fine to be religious if you're an assassin. Well no sht. Like it's fine to be black or gay or whatever. If you're a savage who only cares about winning I want you on my team. Religion was never Richt's problem and has absolutely nothing to do with Manny being successful.
 
McCartney was a scumbag. He knew he stole the 5th down game and he rationalized it by using the bad field conditions that day as an excuse. Bobby wasn't an assassin. In '87, he went for the win because his players insisted. In '92 he preferred to settle for the tie. We were in his head. He was more of a bully. He was afraid of us, but when in 2000 when he needed to run up the score to impress the BCS computers, he didn't hesitate to do it against his own son because he knew he could. Jimmy to this day will tell you, he doesn't regret going for two against Notre Dame and would do it again 1000 times. Tom Osborne to this day says he made the right call going for two. Those last two are more deserving of that title.

Let it go.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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2020 Schedule

09/10
UAB
Miami Gardens, FL
W 31 - 14
09/19
Louisville
Louisville, KY
W 47 - 34
09/26
Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
10/10
Clemson
Clemson, SC
10/17
Pittsburgh
Miami Gardens, FL
10/24
Virginia
Miami Gardens, FL
11/06
NC State
Raleigh, NC
11/14
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
11/21
Georgia Tech
Miami Gardens, FL
11/28
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
12/05
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
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