Miami fires Manny Diaz, pending Mario Cristobal’s decision

GABLES CORAL, Fla. – Manny Diaz was fired from his position as Miami’s football coach Monday, following a 7-5 regular season and with the school in deep negotiations to bring back Oregon coach Mario Cristobal his alma mater to take over.

Diaz hit 21-15 in three seasons in Miami. His job security was questioned for some time and speculation grew three weeks before the Hurricanes fired athletic director Blake James – one of the people who hired Diaz in 2018.

But Diaz has continued to work, even in recent days while the school is trying to get Cristobal out of Oregon. There was no immediate announcement of Cristobal’s status with the Ducks. A person with direct knowledge of those negotiations said Cristobal spent the weekend weighing the pros and cons of returning to the Hurricanes. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.

Still, the dismissal of Diaz shows that Miami is at ease in the belief that Cristobal will come. “An announcement regarding the new leadership for the football program will be made,” the university said in a press release revealing that school president Julio Frenk had fired Diaz.


Miami will play Washington State at the Sun Bowl later this month. It is not yet known who will be the interim coach for that game.

Diaz has been criticized by an impatient fan base in Miami for a number of bad defeats, such as the 2019 defeat to FIU and that season’s bottomless loss to Louisiana Tech. The Hurricanes started 2-4 this season, one of the defeats coming for Virginia when Miami missed a short goal that should have won the game when time expired.

But Diaz’s fate may have been decided with a 31-28 loss to Florida State last month, a game in which the Hurricanes let the Seminoles take the lead in the final seconds of their driveway in which they were unable to stop at the turn. Wednesday and -14 plays.

“We are grateful to Coach Diaz for his many contributions to our school community and to his hometown of South Florida, as well as the strong leadership and exemplary character he has demonstrated. demonstrated during his tenure at the University,” said Frenk. “We wish him and his family all the best as they move forward.”


Miami won 5-1 in Diaz’s last six games. And with the exception of Notre Dame’s one-year appearance as a conference member, Diaz led Miami to the second-best record in Atlantic Coast Conference games in his three seasons. The Hurricanes were 16-9 ahead of confederate opponents in that span, trailing only Clemson.

Diaz never took Miami to an ACC title game, one of the factors in the administration’s thinking. The Hurricanes also have some terrible losses – a 30-24 defeat to crosstown rivals FIU in 2019 was seen as a local and national embarrassment, a 62-26 home loss to North Carolina in the season. The previous tournament caused Miami to play in Orange. Bowl and defeat to Florida State this year in a game where the Hurricanes allowed the Seminoles team to shift fourth and 14th points in the final seconds on their way to victory.

There are also reasons to keep him. The rookies he’s landed on over the past two years have proven to be some of Miami’s best players in 2021. Miami is the only ACC team to beat conference champion Pitt this season and beyond. regular season finals, many players took to social media to post support. for Diaz.


Diaz’s shooting continues an 18-year cycle of impatience in Miami, which began the season in which the Hurricanes joined the ACC. It was 2004, and the Hurricanes were still waiting for their first convention championship.

Larry Coker – the last coach to bring home the national title for the Hurricanes in 2001 – was fired despite winning 53-9 in his first 5 seasons, then only going 6-6 during the season. his sixth and final with the Hurricanes.

Randy Shannon 28-22 for the next four seasons. Al Golden – who had no idea he was inheriting a program that was about to be punished by the NCAA, thanks in large part to the actions of a rogue former grower who went to prison for mastermining a Ponzi scheme – went 32 -25. Mark Richt led 26-13 for three seasons, then retired with five years remaining on his contract amid constant complaints from fans that his son Jon shouldn’t have coached his back four. Miami.


And now Diaz joins that list.


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Huynh Nguyen

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