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PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Temple has hired Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as its next head coach, the university announced on Thursday.
“We are thrilled to have Manny lead our football program,” said Dr. Patrick Kraft, the university director of athletics. “After spending time with him, I understand why he has had tremendous success as a football coach and why his players are so devoted to him. We are in complete alignment about the values on which we run our athletics programs, the high expectations we have for our teams, and how we will conduct ourselves as representatives of Temple University. I am supremely confident that Manny will build on our past success and take us to even greater heights.”
Diaz replaces Geoff Collins, who left Temple after two seasons to become coach at Georgia Tech last week. Like Collins, Diaz has been a successful defensive coordinator with Power Five schools.
Their careers already have crossed. Collins helped replace Diaz as co-defensive coordinator at Mississippi State in 2011 after Diaz left for Texas. In 2015, when Collins left Mississippi State for Florida, Diaz returned to the Bulldogs.
Diaz, a Miami native, has directed defenses that ranked in the top 15 nationally in yards per play with the Hurricanes each season since joining them in 2016.
The 44-year-old went to Florida State and started his career as a graduate assistant on Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden’s staff in 1998-99.
He seemed on a fast track to a head-coaching job in his 30s, but a three-year stint at Texas toward the end of Mack Brown’s tenure with the Longhorns turned out to be a setback for Diaz. He was fired early in the 2013 season.
Diaz resurfaced the next season at Louisiana Tech, before returning to Mississippi State for a year.
Temple was 8-4 this season under Collins, including 7-1 in the American Athletic Conference, with its loss to No. 7 UCF. The Owls have had five straight seasons of at least a .500 record under Matt Rhule and Collins, the longest stretch of sustained success for the program since the 1970s.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)