Penn State Football

Manny Diaz Finalizing Deal to Become Head Coach at Duke, Report says

After two stellar seasons in Happy Valley, Penn State defensive coordinator Yahoo! Sports reports Manny Diaz is returning to a head coaching role, accepting the head coaching position at Duke.

Duke is finalizing a deal to make Penn State DC Manny Diaz its next head coach, sources tell @YahooSports.

— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 7, 2023

Diaz was a standout coordinator over the past two years for Penn State, leading the Nittany Lions‘ defense to the top of the college football ranks.

Under Diaz in 2023, Penn State led all of FBS football in total defense, sacks, opponent first downs, passing touchdowns allowed, and rushing yards per play allowed. Penn State also ranked second nationally in passing yards allowed, rushing yards allowed, team tackles for a loss, and turnovers gained.

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An ACC Return for Manny Diaz

At Duke, Diaz will return to the ACC where he was the former head coach at the University of Miami. Diaz had expressed interest to returning to running his own program from the moment he arrived in Happy Valley, stating he was waiting for the “right” opportunity to take over another program. Duke is coming off back-to-back bowl-eligible seasons under head coach Mike Elko before Elko left to take the Texas A&M head coaching job after Jimbo Fisher was fired.

What’s Next for Penn State After Manny Diaz Departure

Penn State will now shift to its second coordinator search of the offseason, having filled its offensive coordinator position last week hiring Andy Kotelnicki from Kansas. James Franklin‘s Kotelnicki hire has been lauded in college football circles, and Penn State will need to strike a similar cord in replacing Diaz and the impact he made on the Nittany Lions’ defense.

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Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.