Manny Diaz Miami football comments at 2019 ACC Media Days still relevant

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 2: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 2: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

With the ACC football Media Days canceled for 2020, the comments head coach Manny Diaz made about the Miami football team in 2019 are still relevant.

When Manny Diaz was hired as the Miami football head coach in December 2018 to replace his mentor Mark Richt it was the realization of a life long dream to become the Hurricanes head coach. Diaz epitomizes Miami. The new Hurricanes head coach discussed the state of the program in July 2019 at ACC Football Media Days.

The Miami football program was coming off of a 35-3 loss to Wisconsin in the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl to culminate a 7-6 season when Diaz and since graduated wide receiver K.J. Osborn and linebacker Shaq Quarterman answered questions from reporters at the 2019 ACC Kickoff Media in Charlotte in July.

Diaz spoke about how people have to earn their way in Miami and how the football program is a microcosm of that. Under Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson the Hurricanes won National Championships in 1983, ’87, ’89 and ’91. Miami earned their dynasty beating the blue bloods of College Football.

Diaz discussed the history of the two families he was born into and paralleled that to how Miami became one of the elite programs in college football. A year later, Diaz is still working on changing the Hurricanes culture and finding the right system on offense to bring Miami back among the best programs in college football.

"“It’s a place (Miami) where you have to go make your way. It’s the old idea: you can be what you want to be. We’re all believers in the American dream. I think Miami is a showcase for that. I’ll be very honest, I think the Miami Hurricanes are a showcase for that. That’s really what the Miami Hurricanes did in the ’80s.There’s not many college football programs that crash the college football scene. This has been a sport for a long time been dominated by the bluebloods. Very rarely does a team sort of sneak in. Miami did. Miami snuck in. Why? Because the greatest resource we have in our city, which is what?It’s our people, our talent, the talent in South Florida sort of crashed on the scene, were able to knock off Nebraska, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, the traditional powers in the ’80s. That put Miami on the map.Now bringing full circle, for me to be now in charge to bring Miami back to that point, I’ll be very honest, if you wrote it on a script, Hollywood through throw it out, it would be too unbelievable. On one hand I pinch myself every day.On the other hand I realize there’s a lot of work to be done because this is a place where it can happen. The script has been written in terms of how it happens. My job is to follow the script and have these guys understand the recipe for success and hold them to it."

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Schnellenberger realized when he was hired at the head coach for the Miami football program in 1979 exactly what Diaz spoke about. The greatest resource for the Miami football program was the talent being produced in the high schools in South Florida. Schnellenberger created the State of Miami rule in recruiting.

The Hurricanes coaching staff formulated a virtual wall around Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties to keep other schools from coming in and signing recruits. The idea worked and Schnellenberger and later Jimmy Johnson were able to keep the elite players in South Florida and build Miami into a dynasty.

Diaz also touched on the importance of social media and keeping the fanbase engaged in the offseason. The Hurricanes head coach acknowledged that the real work during the offseason is put in in the weight room with strength and conditioning coach David Feeley. Feeley continues to transform the Miami culture.

"“What has been happening on the inside is real. That’s been what these guys have been doing with David Feeley, our strength and conditioning coach, while no one has been watching. There’s no hashtag for what is going on on that field, in that weight room.I promise you, that will have a lot more to do with our success than the fun we’re having on Twitter."

The 2019 seasons did not live up to the expectations that Diaz and everyone had hope for. Miami had a weird season with major issues on the offensive line, inconsistency at quarterback and an unreliable kicking game. Diaz hired new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee following the 2019 season and added QB

D’Eriq King


Diaz needs to have Lashlee and King live up to expectations in 2020. Both should put the remaining players on the Miami offensive in better positions to succeed in 2020 than they did in 2019. The Hurricanes will utilize a simpler and quicker offensive approach that should help the wide receivers and offensive line.

Next. National expert likes direction Miami football is trending. dark

The up-tempo spread offense preferred by Lashlee over the pro-style system used by the past two offensive regimes for Miami fit modern college football better and perfectly fit the skill set that King brings to the Hurricanes. Miami should have a more efficient and enjoyable offense to watch this season.