The Temple Owls did not take long to find their new head coach.
Miami Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will replace Geoff Collins, who accepted the head coaching position at Georgia Tech on Friday.
Diaz, 44, met with Temple officials Monday and a deal is expected to be finalized by Wednesday evening, according to multiple sources.
This is the fifth time since 2010 that Temple has needed to find a new head coach. The previous four coaches - Al Golden, Steve Addazio, Matt Rhule and Collins - all left for P5 jobs, three of which were in the Atlantic Coastal Conference. It remains to be seen whether Temple has a clause in the contract with Diaz that prevents him from being plucked by a P5 program in a couple seasons.
As many as eight to 10 candidates interviewed for the vacancy, writes Marc Narducci of Philly.com. Current interim coach Ed Foley, former assistant Francis Brown, Michigan’s Don Brown and Mike Elko of Texas A&M were some of the names reportedly in the mix.
By hiring Diaz, it continues a trend of Temple hiring defensive-minded coaches. The former Canes coach was the brains behind a Miami defense that led the nation in pass defense, third down efficiency and tackles for loss, and ranked second in total defense in 2018. He is also credited with being the originator of the “Turnover Chain” that has spread throughout college football.
Diaz began his coaching career in 1998 as a graduate assistant at Florida State. From there, he spent 2000-2005 as an assistant with NC State, 2006-2009 as the defensive coordinator for Middle Tennessee State and the first of two stints at Mississippi State as defensive coordinator in 2010.
He was the Texas Longhorns D coordinator from 2011-2013, and held the same position for Louisiana Tech in 2014.
Ironically, Diaz replaces Collins for the second time in his coaching career. Diaz was tabbed the defensive coordinator once again at Mississippi State in 2015 when Collins departed for the Florida Gators.
Collins complied a 15-10 record in North Philadelphia and is the first Temple coach to lead his team to a bowl game in his first two seasons at the helm.
Diaz won’t have much time to round up recruits as the early signing period is set to begin Dec. 19. Temple currently has the 65th ranked class, according to 24/7 Sports, but that number could change drastically with the new coaching regime set to take over.
Temple will play at Miami in 2020 in the first game of a home-and-home series between the former Big East opponents.