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Manny Diaz, former Miami Mayor's son, hired by UM as D-coordinator

Manny Diaz Jr. is coming home.

Diaz, 41, was named the University of Miami defensive coordinator on Saturday by new Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt.

Diaz, who has been coaching for 18 years, is the son of former Miami mayor Manny Diaz. He comes to the Hurricanes after a one-year stint as D-coordinator and linebackers coach at Mississippi State.

And for Hurricanes fans who could not tolerate what they thought was a weak, non-aggressive, far too complicated 3-4 defense by former UM coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, Diaz runs an extremely aggressive, attacking 4-3 scheme.

"I'm very excited about Manny Diaz becoming our defensive coordinator,'' Richt said in a release. "I've known him for over 20 years and I've watched him become one of the best defensive minds in the business. He and our defensive staff will implement a 4-3 attacking style defense.''

Diaz coached this past season under MSU head coach Dan Mullen, who interviewed recently for the UM head-coaching vacancy.

Diaz played three sports at Miami Country Day High School, but never played college football. He started his coaching career in 1998-99 as a graduate assistant at FSU, where he received his bachelor's degree.

Diaz's defense this season for the Bulldogs (9-4) was ranked 57th overall, allowing 391.2 yards per game. His rushing defense finished the season ranked 70th (174.6 rushing yards a game allowed), passing defense finished 57th (216.5) and scoring defense was 37th nationally (23.2 points a game allowed).

His team gave up 5.32 yards per play, 45th nationally of 128 FBS teams.

For comparison's sake, UM's defense ranked 69th this season, allowing 404.8 yards per game. UM's rushing defense finished 102nd this season (201 rushing yards a game allowed), passing defense finished 38th (203.8) and scoring defense was 77th (28.2 points a game allowed).

The Bullodogs were ranked ninth in team tackles for loss and ninth in red zone defense.

"Starkville is a special place and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity Dan Mullen and Scott Stricklin game my family and I,'' Diaz said. "...God blessed me with a chance to return home, to coach in my hometown and to reunite with family. It is the kind of opportunity that comes along rarely in this business. It was simply too good to pass up.

"I can't wait to help Coach Richt build a championship program at Miami.''

In 2014, Diaz spent one season at Louisiana Tech, leading the nation in turnovers gained (40) with 15 fumble recoveries and 25 interceptions. 

Prior to La Tech, he coached three seasons at Texas and was fired by former coach Mack Brown just two games into the 2013 season after the Longhorns allowed 670 yards of total offense -- 550 of them rushing -- against BYU.

Diaz has been considered one of the bright, up-and-coming defensive young minds in the nation as he worked his way up from FSU to NC State (graduate assistant, linebacker, safeties, special teams from 2000-01 through 2004-05), Middle Tennessee (defensive coordinator, safeties, linebackers 2006-07 through 2008-09), to his first stint at Mississippi State in 2010 (defensive coordinator, linebackers).

In 2010, Diaz brought a team that had finished 71st in scoring defense the previous year to 22nd overall, and brought the Bulldogs from 62nd in rushing defense to 17th.