Duke announces Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to become next head coach

Duke announced Thursday that it has named Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz the program’s next head coach.

Diaz will follow former Blue Devils head coach Mike Elko, who was hired into the same position at Texas A&M on Nov. 27.

“We are grateful and humbled for this opportunity and could not be more excited to be the head football coach at Duke University,” Diaz stated in a release. “I’d like to give a special thanks to (University President) Dr. (Vincent) Price and (athletics director) Nina (King) for their trust in me and our family as well as a true commitment to this program. 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.”

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Diaz has 15 years prior experience as a defensive coordinator and three as a head coach.

He was a finalist for the Broyles Award in 2022, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

The former Miami head coach has led Penn State to the No. 1 total defense in college football this season. Diaz and the Nittany Lions held opponents to a country-best 223.2 yards per game.

“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 to welcome Manny, Stephanie, and their family into the Duke community,” King stated in a release. “Manny’s previous experiences have prepared him for this opportunity, and he is, quite simply, an outstanding football coach who will capitalize on the positive momentum of this program. An elite communicator and collaborator, Manny possesses the dynamic ability to cultivate impactful relationships with internal and external constituents surrounding a successful football program. As Duke’s head football coach, I am confident that Manny will lead the young men in our program to reach and surpass their aspirations of achievement both on and off the field.”