Miami football program has been infused with energy under Manny Diaz

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: Manny Diaz of the Miami Hurricanes addresses the media during his introductory press conference in the Mann Auditorium at the Schwartz Center on January 2, 2019 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: Manny Diaz of the Miami Hurricanes addresses the media during his introductory press conference in the Mann Auditorium at the Schwartz Center on January 2, 2019 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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One of the biggest differences under New Miami football Head Coach Manny Diaz versus the Mark Richt era has been the energy in Coral Gables. The differences in personality between Richt and Diaz are evident at the Soffer IPF and Greentree Practice fields are evident.

Manny Diaz’s ascension to head coach of the Miami football program has given the entire program a burst of energy. Mark Richt was known for his reserved nature versus Diaz’s more rah-rah personality and frequent social media presence. Diaz had created a frenzy among the Miami Hurricanes fan base and media on social media.

Since taking over as the head coach Diaz has created a surplus of excitement on social media publically and with the Hurricanes football program privately. During a question and answer session on The Athletic today Miami Hurricanes beat reporter Manny Navarro said that Diaz has infused energy throughout the program.

The Hurricanes defense during Diaz’s three years as defensive coordinator played with an abundance of energy. The Diaz created turnover chain became a national phenomenon and motivated the Hurricanes defense. Navarro said during Friday’s discussion that energy has transferred throughout the entire team now.

The entire Miami football team looked listless and unmotivated in a 34-3 loss to Wisconsin to in the Pinstripe Bowl last December. The loss to the Badgers halted the momentum that Miami gained with victories in the final two games of the regular season at Virginia Tech and the home finale versus Pittsburgh.

A fan named Cesar C. Energy asked Navarro about Diaz’s ability to spread the energy the defense has had the last three seasons throughout the entire Miami football program over the five months since he succeeded Richt as head coach.

"“@Cesar C. Energy: I know it might seem obvious at this point, but what’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed from the culture at the U during the past eras and now the Diaz era?Navarro: I was only around full-time for one season of Mark Richt (his last), but I feel like now the same energy we saw defensively has been spread all around the team. I covered Al Golden, Randy Shannon, Larry Coker and Butch.It feels like Manny Diaz is emulating what he’s picked up from his conversations with Jimmy Johnson (empowering the players to police themselves, strong motivational tactics). He wants his players to be energetic, confident and have swagger.”"

Emulating the program after Jimmy Johnson was a decisive decision by Diaz to getting the Miami football program back to the swagger that brought them national attention and made them the preeminent program for ten years under three different head coaches.

Howard Schnellenberger elevated the talent and Miami football program’s national profile during his five-year stint as head coach that culminated in the improbably 1983 national championship. Johnson brought the Miami football program to the next level and created the swagger that the Hurricanes became known for.

Four fingers in the air to signal “the fourth quarter is ours” and a brashness that nearly every college football program and fanbase tried to copy became prevalent under Johnson. Diaz’s commission of the turnover chain was an ingenious and his attempt to bring the swagger back to Miami.

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The swagger at Miami is critical. It’s the identity the Hurricanes have created to separate themselves from other programs in college football. Under Diaz expect the swagger and energy to continue throughout his tenure.