University of Miami football coach Manny Diaz, the social media and marketing master who has kept his Hurricanes in the limelight since he became the head man, knows how to draw the attention of other coaches as well.
Diaz elicited plenty of laughs Thursday during a WQAM radio interview in which he was asked about a Nike coaching clinic last month in Orlando. After the event in late February, posts on Internet message boards said that Diaz and his UM coaches showed up before Florida State’s breakout sessions during the clinic and began handing out free beers to high school coaches in a separate room.
One high school coach told the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson that some coaches “opted to stay in the UM suite instead of hearing’’ the FSU coaches. He said from what he witnessed, UM, an Adidas school, did not attempt to distract others from FSU, and that there were no players in attendance.
“It may be a little harder to keep a secret next time,’’ deadpanned Diaz after WQAM’s Zach Krantz joked that he and co-host Joe Rose offered to “just get on the bus and hang out with you for a little while before we go and crash any coaches’ camps?’’
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“How did that go over?’’ Rose then asked Diaz.
Diaz: “The deal in Orlando? Well listen, the story that came out in the Internet... We’re talking about the Internet, right? For every five statements on average, two to three of the five were true. The two to three that were not true of the five just added to the legend.
“Look, here’s the reality: We know we have to do better recruiting than what we’ve done. And a key to that is to form great relationships with the high school coaches. That’s a big clinic in the state of Florida where the majority of the high school coaches from the state go. And the University of Miami had not been there over the past few years. And we wanted to go and be able to show the coaches that we were for them and that we felt like winning at home in recruiting was something that was very important to us. That was really what it was about.
“I think some of the legend that came out of that is sort of Internet lore and it can sort of stay as Internet lore. But the most important thing was that we wanted to be intentional about our efforts of really winning at home in recruiting.”