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Penn State DC Manny Diaz ‘loves his job’ in Happy Valley

Manny Diaz is in no hurry to leave Penn State



Penn State football, Manny Diaz, USC, USC defensive coordinator
Penn State football defensive coordinator Manny Diaz laughs as he talks with reporters during a press conference at media day at Beaver Stadium on Sunday, August 6, 2023, in State College.

There’s no doubt that when James Franklin and the Penn State football team hired Manny Diaz as the next defensive coordinator there was some speculation on what kind of fit he would be. Whenever a head coach is fired and then re-hired at a new university, comments will be made about what kind of fit they will be. It’s safe to say that all of that was put to rest after the 2022 season that the Penn State defense put together. They were aggressive, they forced turnovers, and most importantly they played together leading them to an 11-win season. With success comes opportunity, but it doesn’t sound like Manny Diaz is ready to leave State College for another head coaching position just yet.

Penn State DC Manny Diaz ‘loves his job’ in Happy Valley

Recently Diaz joined Next Up with Adam Breneman to give his perspective on fall camp, what it’s like to battle with Mike Yurcich in practice, and more. The two go on to speak about Manny’s future beyond the 2023 season and he had an interesting thing to say.

Diaz said “I love my job and that’s the first thing. I tell people all of the time when they ask me for advice in this profession, I always ask them are you happy? Because if you’re happy, don’t mess with happy, happy is hard to beat. I also love being a head coach though, but I think what you realize and I’ve spoken with other head coaches, you realize it’s about being at the right place at the right time.”

It sounds like that professional goal of becoming a head coach is still part of Diaz’s future plan but he is not going to jump at any opportunity. For the Penn State football community, it’s great to hear that he currently loves his job and that he doesn’t want to leave for the sake of a new title.

What has James Franklin taught Manny Diaz during his time in State College?

If there is one lesson that James Franklin has taught Manny Diaz during his time at Penn State is that alignment is key in order to be successful. As Franklin has mentioned that he finally feels that the program has the president, athletic director, and members of the board all on the same page.

Diaz continued by saying “So, if you get that opportunity again you want to make sure that the program is in the right hands. You want to make sure whatever the expectation for the program that the support matches the expectation because there will always be angst if those two things are not aligned.”

It certainly sounds like what Coach Franklin has worked so hard to achieve at Penn State is a model that Manny Diaz wants to adopt in any future programs that he works for. But in all honesty, Diaz could stick around Happy Valley until the perfect opportunity comes his way, which would be great for the Nittany Lions.

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Former Editor-In-Chief at Victory Bell Rings, Morgan is the current Site Manager for Basic Blues Nation, host of the Basic Blues Podcast, and co-host of the weekly Penn State Roar Room spaces. Morgan lives in upstate New York with his wife and cats.


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