University of Miami

Miami athletic director Blake James gives ‘100 percent’ vote of confidence for Manny Diaz

University of Miami athletic director Blake James gave Hurricanes football coach Manny Diaz his full vote of confidence Monday night on WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline.

The Canes are now 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, their worst start since 1997, as they prepare to travel to Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-1) for a noon Saturday game.

Here’s part of what James said on Hurricane Hotline:

“We are seven games in,” James said. “So it’s one where Manny is doing the things he needs to do to build a program for long-term success. And some of it we won’t see until after recruiting signing days, a different approach on things in terms of what he wants to accomplish. I will say I feel 100 percent as confident in the decision today as I was back when we made it in December. It is frustrating to lose games — I hate losing, but I know Manny hates losing and so do our guys. They are going to do what they need to do to put themselves in position to win every game with the understanding that we are not going to win every game. That is part of football. The teams that we line up against are doing everything they can to win games as well. It is going to be a battle week in and week out. Manny has the full support of myself and I know of our institution.

“... I am very confident in his ability to take this program where we all want it to go and that is competing for ACC and National Championships. The games haven’t gone the way that we would have drawn it up but the future is one that we all are confident in where it is going and Manny is the guy to take us there.

“Well, I think the reality is that we are 3-4 and need to focus on the remaining five games and do everything we can to win each and every one of those. It has been a disappointing journey to this point. You look at each one of our losses and I think you can realistically say, `Hey, if this one play went the way that it normally would, then we would end up in a different spot.’

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Miami Herald sports writer Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes football beat writer since 2000, the season before the Canes won it all. She has won several APSE national writing awards and has covered everything from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to major marathons to the Olympics.