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Diaz named defensive coordinator at Penn State, as Franklin bypasses UVA alum Poindexter

Manny Diaz
Manny Diaz. Photo by Chris Graham.

Penn State coach James Franklin has hired a defensive coordinator to replace Brent Pry, who left Happy Valley to take the head-coaching job at Virginia Tech.

And the new Nittany Lions DC isn’t Anthony Poindexter.

Franklin snagged former Miami head coach Manny Diaz for the job, bypassing Poindexter, who supposedly was a top candidate for the Virginia head coach job this week.

If he ever was, the move by Franklin suggests that Virginia AD Carla Williams made a great escape not being able to come to terms with Poindexter.

If he wasn’t, it was ridiculous to ever suggest that he was a serious candidate, considering that he announced earlier in the week that he was going to return to State College, and he’s just going to be a safeties coach.

Virginia ended up with who had to be Williams’ first choice for her new head coach, former Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, a former Broyles Award winner as assistant coach of the year, with seven years as Clemson’s offensive play-caller.

With Diaz, Franklin makes a splash hire for his defense, which ranked 36th nationally and sixth in the 14-team Big Ten in 2021.

Diaz has a 14-year history as a DC, including stints at Mississippi State and Texas, before succeeding Mark Richt as the head coach at Miami in 2019.

His teams compiled a 21-15 record over his three seasons in Coral Gables, including a 7-5 mark in 2021.

Diaz was let go on Monday to make way for Miami to hire Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, a UM alum.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
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