Manny Diaz is taking an unusual step as he announced on Wednesday that he will be the Miami Hurricanes head coach and defensive coordinator. The departure of former co-defensive coordinators Blake Baker and Ephraim Banda left the position open. It is rare for a head coach to also be a coordinator.
Diaz announced last month that he will resume play-calling duties for the 2021 Miami Hurricanes football season. That announcement came after Banda accepted a job as the defensive coordinator at Utah State. Baker had previously been the defensive play-caller for Miami. LSU hired Baker as linebackers coach last week.
Miami had an elite defense with Diaz as the defensive coordinator from 2016-18 and in the first season under Baker in 2019. With Diaz under a lot of pressure from the Miami, fanbase announced the change in play-calling last week. Nearly the entire Miami defensive coaching staff has been remade over the last month.
Defensive line coach Todd Stroud and cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph were reassigned. The departures of Baker and Baker left open the jobs of LB and safeties coach. Jess Simpson returned after two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons to coach the DL, Travaris Robinson was hired as DB coach and Travis Williams as LB coach.
DeMarcus VanDyke was elevated from assistant director of recruiting to the on-field position of CB coach under Robinson. Robinson was the DB coach and DC at South Carolina from 2016-20, Williams was at Auburn, where Robinson played. Robinson and Williams are the fourth and fifth former coordinators on the Miami staff.
"“I’m going to be the defensive coordinator and what I’ve done as a defensive coordinator is what I’m going to do…I’ve got some great guys on the staff that I can certainly delegate some things to, but for this to work, I’ve got to be able to go all in.”"
Diaz was quoted above by Christy Chirinos of Miami Hurricanes.Com explaining how the Miami defense will move forward with Diaz as the defensive coordinator. Expect Robinson and Williams to have more responsibility than an average position coach and play significant roles in game planning.
Miami has nine starters back on defense in 2021. Defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche are the only starters not returning to the Miami defense this fall. Both are expected to be first or second-day picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and will be extremely difficult to replace. Diaz has proven to an adept play-caller defensively.