Update (12/7, 9:15 p.m.): Manny Diaz is officially off to Duke.
There has been rampant speculation that Manny Diaz would be leaving his position as defensive coordinator at Penn State to return to the ranks as a head coach elsewhere. That speculation was a natural part of Diaz’s performance during his two seasons as defensive coordinator, as the Nittany Lions had one of the top defenses in the nation under his leadership. It appears as though he’s earned another opportunity as a head coach, as Football Scoop’s Zach Barnett is reporting that Diaz is expected to accept the head coaching job for the Duke Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils head coaching job became available when Mike Elko accepted the same position with Texas A&M on November 26. Diaz immediately became one of the primary names to replace Elko, who was one of the hottest candidates in this year’s coaching carousel.
Prior to Penn State, Diaz was the head coach at Miami where he compiled a 21-15 record during three seasons with the Hurricanes. Diaz then came to Penn State in 2022 to replace Brent Pry, who exited to become head coach at Virginia Tech.
Diaz’s two-year stint at Penn State was wildly successful, as the defense helped carry (and in many instances, fully carried) the team to an overall record of 21-4. His defenses continually were at or near the top of every statistical category, including scoring defense, pass defense, run defense, sacks, tackles for loss and turnover margin.
We wish Manny all the best at his new opportunity at Duke. Check back for news on candidates for Penn State’s new defensive coordinator.