Penn State Football

ACC School ‘May Pursue’ Manny Diaz, Report Says

Bruce Feldman of the Athletic included Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz on a list of replacement candidates for Mike Elko at Duke Monday.

Feldman notes “one former ACC head coach whom [the Athletic hears] Duke may pursue is Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.”

Mike Elko left for A&M and Duke has another coaching search. JMU’s Curt Cignetti may make sense, but there’s also a bunch of top coordinators who may be in play: Penn State’s Manny Diaz, Ohio State’s Jim Knowles & FSU’s Alex Atkins.

— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 27, 2023

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Diaz has led the Nittany Lions defense over the past two years to be one of the best defensive units in college football.

Nicole Auerback added fuel to the Diaz to Duke rumors, reporting Wednesday evening that the Blue Devils are interested in bringing him to Durham.


This season, Penn State’s defense under Diaz ranks first in the nation in total defense, sacks, opponent first downs, passing touchdowns allowed, and rushing yards per play and ranks second in the nation in turnovers gained, passing yards allowed, rushing yards allowed, and tackles for a loss.

Diaz was a semifinalist for the Broyles Award this season and should get plenty of attention in the coaching market.

Feldman lists Diaz along with Ohio State’s Jim Knowles, Tulsa’s Steve Spurrier Jr., Florida State’s Alex Atkins, James Madison’s Curt Cignetti, and Marshall’s Charles Huff.

MORE: Manny Diaz’ Best Head Coaching Fits This Hiring Cycle

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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.