MIAMI (CBAMiami) – The University of Miami has fired head football coach Manny Diaz and the vacancy will be filled by Oregon coach Mario Cristobal.
UM President Julio Frenk released this statement Monday morning.READ MORE: Deadly Crash Shuts Down Deerfield Beach Streets; BSO Cruiser Towed From Scene
“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 Frenk. “We wish him and his family the very best as they move forward.”
The statement also read, “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.”
Diaz is being replaced by Oregon coach Mario Cristobal. Cristobal is a Miami native and a former Hurricanes offensive lineman and assistant, and was also the head football coach at Florida International University from 2007 to 2012. He has led the Oregon the Ducks to three consecutive Pac-12 Championship Games.
Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens informed the university Monday that Cristobal has accepted the head football coach position at another university.
“We appreciate all of Mario’s accomplishments and hard work here at Oregon, and we wish him and his family all the best in their next chapter,” said Mullens. “The University of Oregon is a prestigious academic institution with a football program that is well-positioned for continued success in the future, and the search is underway to find another excellent football coach to lead and support our student-athletes moving forward.”READ MORE: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Who Grew Up In Miami, Could Be Next US Supreme Court Justice
Miami hired Manny Diaz to replace Mark Richt, who retired from Miami after the 2018 season. Diaz, the defensive coordinator on Richt’s staff and a Miami native, went just 21-15 in three seasons under Diaz, including a 7-5 campaign in 2021 marred with injuries.
Miami will play Washington State in the Sun Bowl later this month. It’s unknown who will be the interim coach for that game.
Diaz was criticized by an impatient Miami fan base for some bad losses, such as a 2019 defeat to FIU and the bowl loss later that season to Louisiana Tech. The Hurricanes started 2-4 this season, one of those defeats coming to Virginia when Miami missed a short field goal that would have won the game as time expired.
But Diaz’s fate may have been sealed with a 31-28 loss to Florida State last month, a game where the Hurricanes let the Seminoles take the lead in the final seconds on a drive where they couldn’t get a stop on a fourth-and-14 play.
Miami went 5-1 in Diaz’s final six games. And with the exception of Notre Dame’s one-year appearance as a conference member, Diaz guided Miami to the second-best record in Atlantic Coast Conference games in his three seasons. The Hurricanes were 16-9 against league opponents in that span, behind only Clemson.
The recruits Diaz landed in the last two years proved to be among Miami’s best players in 2021. Miami was the lone ACC team to beat conference champion Pitt this season and after the regular-season finale, many players took to social media to post support for Diaz.
Diaz’s firing continues what is now an 18-year cycle of impatience at Miami, starting with the season in which the Hurricanes joined the ACC. That was 2004, and the Hurricanes are still waiting for their first conference championship.MORE NEWS: Miami Twin Brothers Will Set Sail For Harvard In The Fall
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)