Manny Diaz one of CFB best second year head coaches

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz is one of the best second-year head coaches in college football.

Among new hires in Power Five for the 2019 season, plus Houston head coach Dana Holgersen who was hired at Houston from West Virginia, Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz is tied with Mack Brown of North Carolina for the second-best, second-year head coach in FBS.

Manny Diaz has led the Miami football program to a 7-1 record in 2020 and is 13-8 overall over two years as head coach with the Hurricanes. Diaz has Miami ranked for nine straight weeks for the first time since the Hurricanes started 10-0 and reached a high of second in the college football playoff rankings in 2017.

After a 3-0 start in 2020, Miami reached a high of seventh in the nation before losing to Clemson. In two seasons, Diaz has won two and lost two against top 25 opponents during his tenure. Miami defeated then 20th ranked Virginia in 2019 and then number 18 Louisville this season.

Miami began the Diaz era with a loss to number eight Florida and lost at then number one Clemson last month. Miami has games scheduled against Wake Forest, North Carolina and Georgia Tech remaining this season. The Tar Heels reached a high of number five this season but have fallen out of the rankings.

Power Five and AAC second-year head coaches at their schools

CoachSchoolWinsLossesTop 25 WinsTop 25 LossesWeeks ranked
Ryan DayOhio State1617117
Mack BrownNorth Carolina138216
Manny DiazMiami138229
Chris KliemanKansas State128225
Scott SatterfieldLouisville1111153
Neal BrownWest Virginia1010160
Mike LocksleyMaryland616141
Les MilesKansas315070
Matt WellsTexas Tech713150
Dana HolgersenHouston711070

How Manny Diaz compares to other second-year head coaches

Diaz is second in wins and winning percentage tied with Brown with a 13-8 record. The two top 25 wins for Miamisthe last two seasons among programs with coaches in their second year with their teams matches Brown and North Carolina and Chris Klieman and Kansas State. Only Ohio State has spent more weeks in the rankings.

The Buckeyes in the last two seasons (plus three games as interim coach in 2018) under Ryan Day has a 16-1 record, spent all 17 weeks ranked and have an amazing 7-1 record against top 25 teams. Brown and Les Miles of Kansas won National Championships at Texas in 2005 and LSU in 2007.

Diaz at the top of the rankings, despite not only being in his second season at his school but the second as a head coach overall. Klieman won FCS National Titles at North Dakota State. After a disappointing first season, Diaz correctly diagnosed what Miami had to do and he went out and made the changes.

Out were offensive coordinator Dan Enos and offensive line coach Butch Barry with WR coach Taylor Stubblefield leaving for the same position at Penn State. Diaz brought in Rhett Lashlee from SMU to replace Enos, Garin Justice to replace Barry and Rob Likens to replace Stubblefield. All three had experience as offensive coordinators.

As they have done since Diaz was the defensive coordinator for Miami from 2016-18, the Hurricanes went to the transfer portal to improve their roster. Quarterback D’Eriq King, offensive tackle Jarrid Williams, defensive end Quincy Roche and kicker Jose Borregales have all made major impacts for Miami.

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After a mediocre first season, Diaz has a chance to lead Miami to its best season ever in the ACC with two more wins and cap off the year with the Hurricanes’ first New Year’s Six win since they defeated Florida State in the Orange Bowl, January 1, 2004. With the 13th ranked recruiting class the Miami future is bright with Diaz.