A wild Sunday straight out of a day time soap opera script took place in real life for the Miami Hurricanes football program. First, their coach of the last three years, Mark Richt abruptly retired Sunday. Or, resigned. Or, was forced out. Or, whatever the truth is there.
Then, Canes athletic director Blake James swung into motion and put a phone call in to the former Miami defensive coordinator and new Temple head coach, Manny Diaz. And in a matter of hours, Diaz had un-taken the Temple job and come back to Miami to be their head coach.
Diaz commented publicly for the first time Monday morning on WQAM sports radio in Miami with host Joe Rose:
Listen live: https://t.co/xk6Vk5voTR
— The Joe Rose Show (@JoeRoseShow) December 31, 2018
Diaz told the show:
“….it’s been wild. There’s no other way to explain it. It’s something that when everybody woke up yesterday morning, no one could have predicted. They don’t write scripts for these things, if they did, they would get thrown in the trash, because no one would believe it.”
Diaz, who was hired as defensive coordinator in 2016, further told the show that it was sometime midday yesterday his wife actually informed him of the Richt retirement, because she had gotten the information from other coaches wives at the University of Miami.
There was also the awkward part of having to inform Temple that he was going to renege on their agreement to come be their head coach. And, that also comes with a $4 million buyout price tag, which Miami will be paying.
Our Matt Zemek wrote further on Sunday night that coaches changing their mind is actually fairly common, especially when a job where they just were is still open.
Diaz said later in the interview that he had never gone back to Philadelphia after Miami’s Bowl loss on Thursday afternoon to Wisconsin. Rather, he returned on the team plane to Miami and had been in the process this weekend of hiring staff members for the Temple job.
Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports reported Sunday night that Diaz was actually talking to a significant possible member of his staff when the news broke:
To show just how much of a whirlwind this all was with Miami: Today Manny Diaz was interviewing an OC candidate for Temple when this all started to move.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 31, 2018
Diaz concluded the interview by complimenting work Richt had done over the past three seasons, including getting the team ranked #3 in the College Football Playoff rankings late last season, securing the Canes indoor practice facility that’s under construction and putting the foundation for the future.
There is no update yet, on what, if any, buyout Miami gave Richt or length of the deal and what Diaz’s salary will be with the Hurricanes.
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