Diaz to make encore performance at State
Don’t know how any Mississippi State fan would not be happy to see Manny Diaz returning as defensive coordinator.
He already has proven himself at State once. Dan Mullen knows what he is getting. Yes, Diaz got fired at Texas after leaving State, but the Longhorn defense wasn’t good when Diaz got there and it wasn’t good after he left and someone else tried it with the same players. At Texas, the problems were much deeper than Manny Diaz.
Diaz did a fine job with Louisiana Tech’s defense this past season. He did a fine job with Middle Tennessee State’s defense before he came to State the first time.
The media who cover Mississippi State should be happy. Diaz is a straight shooter and a great quote.
Here’s what I wrote when he left State for Texas in February of 2011:
Manny Diaz’s coaching career has taken off like an Atlas 5 rocket. A season ago, he was at Middle Tennessee State. After one season at Mississippi State, he has moved on to Texas where he is likely to double the $260,000 he made at State, which was essentially double what he made at MTSU.
Not bad for a 36-year-old former ESPN production assistant.
Diaz appears the total package. His players genuinely like and respect him and play hard for him. That said, he had some really, really good players at State, and he would be the first to tell you that. Indeed, he was quick to point that out after State shut Denard Robinson and Michigan down over the last three quarters of the Gator Bowl.
Asked how he did it, Diaz responded, “We’ve got really good players.”
At State, Diaz was a media favorite because he’s a straight shooter who tells you just what he thinks and does so with wit.
Example: Did you make any adjustments?
“Yes,” Diaz answered, “we adjusted our chinstraps.”
My guess is he’ll be a head coach before he reaches age 40. He has the “it” factor.
OK, so I was wrong on the head coach part. Diaz is 40 and not yet a head coach. Nevertheless, my take is that State folks should be happy to have him back for a rare coaching encore.
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