- In a move that wasn’t entirely unexpected, Manny Diaz has been fired as the head football coach at the University of Miami.
- The move was followed almost immediately by the announcement that Miami has hired Oregon coach Mario Cristobal to fill the vacancy left by Diaz’s firing.
- Miami fired athletic director Blake James in mid-November.
The college football coaching freak show continued on Monday with several big moves, not the least of which was the formal announcement that Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables will take over the vacant head coaching job at Oklahoma. The shakeup continued in the state of Florida–in a move that wasn’t much of a surprise, the University of Miami fired head coach Manny Diaz. It was the ‘first shoe to drop’ for Miami as they would subsequently announce the hiring of Oregon coach Mario Cristobal to fill the vacancy they had just created.
The press release that announced the firing of Diaz was as perfunctory as these things get. Like Colorado State with Steve Addazio, they didn’t actually used the term ‘fired’. Instead, ‘The University of Miami today informed football head coach Manny Diaz that he will not be retained for the 2022 football season’. It looks as if they used the Colorado State press release as a template–Miami used essentially the same headline except for the placement of the word ‘football’. I know that none of this is proprietary but it looks like someone is pulling an easy paycheck here:
Actually, the U of Miami PR staff was clearly focused on the new head coach. As for Diaz, he got an ‘atta boy’ from University President Julio Frenk in the press release announcing his firing which weighed in at a svelte 109 words, 608 characters:
The University of Miami today informed football head coach Manny Diaz that he will not be retained for the 2022 football season.
“We are grateful to Coach Diaz for his many contributions to our campus community and to his native South Florida, and for the strong leadership and exemplary character he exhibited during his tenure at the University,” said President Julio Frenk. “We wish him and his family the very best as they move forward.”
The University is committed to providing its student-athletes with the best opportunities to succeed and to building championship-caliber teams at the U. An announcement regarding new leadership for the football program will be forthcoming.
We’ll hit the hiring of Mario Cristobal in a subsequent article but the contrast between the welcome afforded him and the ‘thank you, drive through’ dismissal of Diaz is borderline hilarious. Check out the picture of Cristobal posted on the Miami Athletics website where they make him look like some type of conquering hero:
Miami fired athletic director Blake James in mid-November and at that point it looked obvious that Diaz would be the next to go. As they were openly flirting with then-Oregon head coach Cristobal while Diaz was still employed it wasn’t the classiest job search imaginable. CBS Sports called it ‘one of the more publicly embarrassing coaching searches of the offseason’. It put Diaz in a horrible position as he tried to carry on as head coach while the ‘powers that be’ at Miami were trying to hire his replacement so they could rush him out the door. After his dismissal was made official, Diaz took to Twitter to make his displeasure with the process known:
Diaz won’t be unemployed for long–that is if he’s willing to be a defensive coordinator. There’s some speculation that he could wind up replacing Brent Venables at Clemson. A high profile gig like that would be seen as a lateral move and not so much of a step back.