Temple football players react to Manny Diaz leaving for Miami

Temple players are looking for stability after Miami announced Diaz will return to Florida as its coach after spending less than a month as Temple’s coach.

Coach Manny Diaz (left) speaks at his introductory press conference on Thursday at the Liacouras Center. Diaz will leave Temple to return to Miami as its coach, according to reports on Sunday. | MICHAEL ZINGRONE/ THE TEMPLE NEWS

For the second time in a month, Temple University football players are tweeting about a coaching search, sharing their hopes that the next coach will create stability in the position.

Despite introducing a new coach earlier this month, Temple will have to hire its fifth coach since 2010. After spending less than 20 days as Temple’s coach, Manny Diaz will return to the University of Miami, Miami announced Sunday.

Former Miami coach Mark Richt retired on Sunday after three seasons with the Hurricanes, and Diaz, his former defensive coordinator, was hired to become the Hurricanes’ next coach just hours later.

Earlier that morning, Diaz had been interviewing a candidate to potentially join the Owls’ staff as the offensive coordinator, Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman reported.

Diaz said he “never saw this coming” and hopes Temple fans, administration and players understand the “pull to stay home” in a release. In addition to coaching at Miami, Diaz’s roots in the city include that his father served as its mayor from 2001-09.

Kraft started a national search to replace Diaz, who had been hired to replace Geoff Collins after he spent two seasons at Temple. Like when Collins left, players are shocked, have started advocating for potential replacements and emphasized the winning culture they’ve built despite changing leadership.

Redshirt-sophomore defensive end Quincy Roche tweeted that it’s “imperative” Temple gets someone who “wants to be” at the school.

Roche showed support for Temple co-defensive coordinator Fran Brown to become the Owls’ next coach. Brown coached at Temple from 2011-16 before following former coach Matt Rhule to Baylor University. Diaz hired Brown from Baylor earlier this month.

Before Diaz was hired at Temple, Roche, redshirt-junior defensive end Dana Levine and several other players advocated for Brown to receive the position. They tweeted their support for Brown shortly after Diaz’s move to Miami.

Graduate student defensive end Zack Mesday made light of the situation, referring to an NCAA rule that requires some athletes to sit out a year after transferring to a different school.

When Temple hires its next coach, it will be the fourth since Levine came to Temple in 2015. Rhule coached the Owls to 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2016 before he took the job at Baylor. Collins led the Owls to a 15-10 record in 2017 and 2018 before becoming Georgia Tech’s coach.

Diaz didn’t coach a game before leaving for Miami, but he received National Letters of Intent from 17 players during the early signing period from Dec. 19 to 21. One of them is Re’Mahn Davis, a running back from Blair Academy in New Jersey. In a conversation with a friend, Davis wrote, “It’s a cold world.”


Like Davis, redshirt-freshman offensive lineman Griffin Sestili was surprised by Diaz’s return to Miami.

Senior safety Delvon Randall reacted to Diaz leaving, despite having played his last game for Temple on Thursday at the Independence Bowl.

Whoever becomes Temple’s next coach will inherit a program on a streak of four straight bowl appearances and a recruiting class ranked fifth out of 12 teams by Rivals in the American Athletic Conference.


    • agree he would be a great choice if he can recruit. we need a coach who can bring in a few 4/5 stars to go along with the 3 stars.

  1. Manny Diaz can hope all he wants that Temple fans, administrators, and players understand the “pull of home”. I, as a fan, understand that someone who signs a CONTRACT and then bails out has absolutely no integrity and Temple needs search for a coach who knows what integrity means and actually has some. This isn’t just a coaching job, it’s a teaching job and I’d like our students to be taught integrity as well.

  2. I told my family last Sunday that if the Jets fired Todd Bowles, Temple should “bring him home”, and have him show that he knows the culture of the Owls — NEVER dreaming that THIS would happen — Dr Kraft & President Englert, PLEASE bring home Coach Bowles — the Owls need ONE OF OUR OWN!!!!!

  3. I think Fran Brown or Greg Schiano would be a good fit. They both should do well with recruiting in the region.

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