The Duke football program officially had its new head coach.
News had been circulating around the Duke football program since early Thursday morning, but what everyone had expected was confirmed on Thursday night.
Manny Diaz will be the next head coach of the Blue Devils.
Diaz, the current defensive coordinator at Penn State, is very familiar with the ACC following his three seasons as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes.
“As our process unfolded, it became abundantly clear that Manny Diaz is the right fit for Duke University and we couldn’t be more excited,” Athletic Director Nina King said in a press release.
Diaz, 49, went to bowl games in each of his years with the Hurricanes and turned the Penn State defense into the best unit in the country this season, only allowing 3.91 yards per play and 223 total yards per game.
Miami was 21-15 with Manny Diaz at the helm of the program and is just 12-12 since his firing.
“Manny possesses the dynamic ability to cultivate impactful relationships with internal and external constituents surrounding a successful football program,” King continued.
New Duke football head coach has to get to work quickly
Duke saw Mike Elko, who had been the head coach for two seasons, leave the program in the middle of the night two weeks ago to become the head coach at Texas A&M.
Elko led the Blue Devils to back-to-back bowl games after not seeing the postseason for three consecutive seasons as the team will play Troy in the Birmingham Bowl on December 23.
“We are grateful and humbled for this opportunity and could not be more excited to be the head football coach at Duke University,” Diaz said. “Duke University is an elite institution in every facet, and we are excited to be a part of it. I’m beyond excited to get to work.”
Manny Diaz will have a lot of work to get done with the current roster as players continue to enter the transfer portal — including starting quarterback Riley Leonard, who appears headed to Notre Dame.
An official press conference and welcoming ceremony has been scheduled for Saturday.