MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On the 35th anniversary of the University of Miami’s first National title, the teams new head coach took to the podium for his first news conference.
Manny Diaz, who had signed on to coach at Temple, apologized to those players and said before Sunday his intent was not to come back to Miami. Diaz replaces Mark Richt who abruptly retired last weekend.
Diaz said his first will be to hire an outstanding staff, most importantly an offensive coordinator. He said he’s been amazed and humbled about the candidates who have expressed interest so far
“This is the place where people want to be. People understand the potential of what is currently, right now, sitting in our locker room, the potential that can be recruited to this school, in a very short radius. Great coaches want to be at UM. Probably right now I would say that I’ve got three finalists for that position (offensive coordinator) and I will tell you this, the guy in fourth place would be amazing,” said Diaz.
Diaz said he’s not in a hurry to fill the staffing positions and will only hire a person if that person was right for the position.
As for the style of play, Diaz said he envisions the best of what they achieved in the past.
“Well the very first thing we’ll establish on defense is we’re going to be tough. We will not be out hit, we will not be out toughed. Miami is always known for its great speed, we’re going to play fast. We’re going to use our speed, we’re going to let our athletes go. Lastly, we’re going to have fun. We’re going to play with passion. This is a tough city, this is a passionate city, the fans of the Miami Hurricanes want to see their teams play with toughness and they want to see them play with passion,” he said.
Diaz also addressed Miami’s quarterback situation and said they need to get that fixed.
“We have some young guys on our campus who have shown flashes, who have shown that they have ability, but you don’t win at the University of Miami with flashes and you don’t win at the University of Miami with potential. You have to perform. So everyone will be given a clean slate, we will start from scratch from what we have on our campus and at the same time we will look under every nook and cranny across the entire country to make sure we are best positioned at the quarterback room to attack the 2019 football season,” he said.
He said as for defense they are pretty much set, he only plans to make one more hire.
As for the culture of the football program, Diaz said it will change so they don’t have another 7-6 season.
“The 2018 football team is over, it’s finished, they will never be back in the room again. In about a week and a half when the team returns, the 2019 Miami Hurricanes football team will be born. What it does from that point on will be decided by their next step after that first initial meeting,” he said.
Diaz concluded that he’s excited about the program and what comes next and will have much to show in 240 days in Orlando at their season opener.