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

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

Chris Graham
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

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].