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Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz Poised For 2023 Return To Penn State

Welcome to “silly season.”

That’s what Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz called the rumor-filled period in college football that commences annually after the regular season ends. Coaches are fired, others are mentioned to take their places, and players jump in and out of the transfer portal.

After pioneering a successful season that saw a Big Ten-high 37 sacks, Diaz was among those coaches rumored to take a new head coaching gig, most notably at FAU. But, it doesn’t seem like he’s going anywhere just yet.

“I’ve got a great job, and it would take an amazingly great job to leave a great job…” the coordinator said on Friday at Penn State’s Rose Bowl media day. “At this point, it’s full speed ahead for 2023.”

Diaz’s previous head coaching experience makes him stand out as a candidate for a new gig at the helm of a program. The Miami native coached at the University of Miami from 2019-2021, claiming a 21-15 record.

He was fired following his final season with the Hurricanes, creating what he called “unfinished business.” Diaz was transparent and candid about his future goals.

“In terms of ambition, I’d like to head coach again,” Diaz said. “I enjoy it…The second time around you’re a little wiser in the opportunity. I don’t think you let the opportunity choose you, I think you choose the opportunity.”

All signs point to Diaz staying put in Happy Valley, snowstorms and all.

Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Patrick Kraft also confirmed Friday that the Nittany Lions’ monetary pool for assistant coaches was top three in the Big Ten. While Diaz seems to be focused on waiting for the right opportunity to take a new head coaching job, a competitive salary doesn’t hurt.

Even before Diaz spoke Friday, Kraft harped on continuity. He stressed the importance of keeping the same coaches in the same roles from year to year.

“You want to keep that continuity…everyone aspires to be whether it’s a head coach, whether it is to be a DC or OC, whatever that is,” Kraft said. “I will always be committed to keeping our staff together no matter what.”

Keeping Diaz around should be viewed as a win for Penn State. In addition to the conference-leading sack total, the Nittany Lions mustered a Big Ten-high of nearly eight tackles for loss per game.

A true freshman, Abdul Carter, led the team in both sacks and tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles. The future is bright for this defensive unit and Diaz coming back for another run can only help it blossom.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected]

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