Barry Jackson

Top UM assistant Manny Diaz interviews for a head coaching job

University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is receiving strong consideration for the head coaching job at Temple and interviewed with the university on Monday, according to two industry sources.

Diaz did not respond to text messages asking if he interviewed for the Temple job Monday or if there’s any message he would like to convey about his plans.

UM also declined to comment, referring all questions to Diaz and Temple.

FootballScoop.com was the first to report that Diaz and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko were candidates for the job.

A source in the coaching industry told the Miami Herald that Diaz is among four coaches under strong consideration. A second source said he interviewed on Monday, but it’s unclear where the process goes from here.

790 The Ticket producer Eric Lauzin reported that Diaz interviewed with Temple on Monday, that “they apparently have big money to throw at him and he’s strongly considering it.”

Losing Diaz would be a significant blow. He guided a UM defense that ranks second nationally in yards allowed per game, third in pass efficiency defense, 11th in sacks, 12th in takeaways and 15th in scoring defense.

It also could leave UM vulnerable as next week’s early signing recruiting period approaches. The Hurricanes have a strong 11-member class of defensive recruits and are in the mix for several other top players.

And if Diaz leaves, there would also be questions about whether junior linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Mike Pinckney would return to school. Diaz and others met with those two and junior defensive end Joe Jackson in November, and UM emerged optimistic that Quarterman and Pinckney would return, according to a source. They still might return even if Diaz leaves.

Diaz, 44, has never been a head coach but has served as a defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Texas, Louisiana Tech and UM.

Mark Richt hired him after taking the UM job, and Diaz’s defense has been perhaps the Hurricanes’ greatest asset the past three seasons.

According to FootballScoop.com, Temple prefers a defensive-minded assistant to replace Geoff Collins, who took the head coaching at Georgia Tech.

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