Manny Diaz led a turnaround from a 6-7 2019 season in his first year as head coach to 8-3 during his second season in 2020. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on Monday that Miami needs to continue to win eight games per season to continue for the Board of Trustees to continue to have confidence in Manny Diaz.
Diaz led the turnaround by making the changes necessary to the Miami coaching staff and upgrading the roster. A year after hiring an entirely new offensive coaching staff Diaz hired a new offensive coordinator and coaches on the offensive line and wide receiver for 2020. Miami also dipped into the transfer portal again.
The additions of quarterback D’Eriq King, offensive tackle Jarrid Williams, kicker Jose Borregales and defensive end Quincy Roche all had significant impacts on the Miami football team in 2020. Diaz went to the transfer portal to add cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, DE DeAndre Johnson and wide receiver Charleston Rambo for 2021.
The defensive imploded late during the 2020 season in losses to North Carolina and in the Cheez-It Bowl to Oklahoma State. Diaz responded by hiring an entirely new defensive coach staff with the exception of Jonathan Patke who was moved from strikers coach to inside linebackers for the 2021 season.
Jackson stated in his column on Monday that a Board of Trustee member told him that
“The North Carolina Game (which Miami lost 62-26 at home) was not acceptable.”
The BOT was encouraged by Miami signing the nation’s 12th best class and the decision by Diaz to run the defense. There are differing opinions on Diaz.
One BOT member told Jackson that Diaz should be replaced if Miami doesn’t win 10 games. With a season opener against Alabama and North Carolina on the road, those are unreasonable and unrealistic expectations.
Eight seems to be the magic number. In a potential 13 game season with a bowl game, some will view that as disappointing. For Miami to continue improving and moving forward an expectation of nine wins with one in the bowl game would be fair. Diaz is entering his third season after signing a five-year contract when hired.
Diaz seems likely to keep his job through at least the 2022 season. The Miami BOT is far more likely to replace Diaz as head coach with one year remaining on his contract than two years. Jackson closed by stating the Miami is committed to Diaz and consensus thought that the Hurricanes are headed in the right direction.
Miami President Julio Frenk is reportedly indifferent to the sports programs. That should help Manny Diaz. Diaz has taken the Miami football program to another level from former head coach Mark Richt. The culture is changing and Diaz has shown the willingness to make necessary changes. Miami is heading in the right direction.