Manny Diaz has decision to make replacing Blake Baker

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With polarizing defensive coordinator Blake Baker hired to be the linebackers coach at LSU, Miami head coach Manny Diaz has a decision to make on his replacement. Will Diaz hire someone to solely coach LBs or will the replacement for Baker also add the title of DC. That will be the decision for Miami.

The Miami defense was successful in the first season under Baker in 2019 but significantly regressed in 2020. Earlier this month Diaz announced that he would be taking over the play-calling on defense. The decision by Diaz to resume play-calling after being the Hurricanes DC from 2016-18 ultimately led to Baker’s departure.

Hiring a defensive coordinator could be difficult if Diaz wants to remain the defensive play-caller. Manny Diaz could decide to promote from within. Recently hired defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson was the DC at South Carolina the last four seasons. Special teams coordinator and strikers coach Jonathan Patke is a possibility.

Patke taking over as the linebackers coach or Robinson becoming the defensive coordinator would still leave open a spot on the Miami coaching staff. Diaz first has to identify how he wants to replace Baker before hiring a successor. There are many candidates that are qualified for Miami to hire.

The direction Diaz wants to take on many levels will play into replacing Baker. Many qualified candidates with experience are unemployed after losing their jobs primarily because of head coaching changes. Diaz could choose to hire someone from that pool or inquire about someone already on another staff.

Former Auburn C0-DC and LB coach Travis Williams has been mentioned as a possible candidate by David Lake of Inside the U and on the Wide Right podcast by Manny Navarro and former Miami offensive lineman Kelvin Harris. Another name that has been mentioned is Kevin Steele who shared DC at Auburn with Williams.

Miami DC Blake Baker officially announced as LSU LB coach. dark. Next

Steele was hired by Tennessee before they fired Jeremy Pruitt last week. Navarro reported that the Volunteers had to buy Steele out for $1 million after hiring Josh Heupel as the replacement for Pruitt. Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee was at Auburn with Robinson, Steele and Williams. There is no timeline to replace Baker.