On Wednesday afternoon, the semifinalists for the Broyles Award were announced. Given annually to College Football’s top assistant coach, the Broyles Award is one of the most prestigious honors a coach can earn.
Included in today’s list of 56 semi finalists for this top coaching honor was Miami Hurricanes Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz. A Miami native, Diaz has brought an attacking mentality to Miami’s defense, and has the Canes playing as one of the best units in America.
Miami’s pass defense is in the top 10 in a number of statistics including passer rating allowed, yards per game, and interceptions. The defense as a whole leads the nation in tackles for loss with nearly 9 TFL per game. Additionally, individual defenders coached by Diaz, such as linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney, have excelled on the field.
Here’s a bit of narrative from the Broyles Award website:
The 56 nominees in this year’s class were selected from approximately 1500 assistant coaches representing 129 Division One programs across the country. For the first time in the award’s 22 year history, a committee representing the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) was also included in the Broyles Award selection process.
An 18-member selection committee of distinguished former head coaches, along with a committee representing the Football Writers Association of America will select 15 semi-finalists and five finalists from the list of nominees and an overall winner. Those finalists will be invited to travel to Little Rock, Ark. where the 2017 Broyles Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 5th at the Marriott Hotel.
Last year’s Broyles Award recipient, Clemson Tigers DC Brent Venables, is ineligible for this year’s award, as is any coach who has won the award in the last 5 years
After being a bad snub from the Broyles Award finalist list last year, there is a case to be made that Diaz is a top 3 candidate, if not the front runner for this coaching award.
That’s not to say that there aren’t other qualified candidates, because there are. Here are just the names from the ACC:
ACC coaches nominated for the Broyles Award for best assistant:— Crooked Halery (@DavidHaleESPN) November 8, 2017
Clemson’s Tony Elliott
Miami’s Manny Diaz
NC State’s Dwayne Ledford
Syracuse’s Brian Ward
Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster
Wake Forest’s Warren Ruggiero
I respect all the coaches on this list, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Diaz is the strongest candidate for the Broyles award of those included in the above tweet.
Diaz and the Hurricanes will have a chance to build on their already impressive reputation and performance in 2017 when they face #3 Notre Dame on Saturday night.
Congratulations to Manny Diaz for this nomination, but the work isn’t done yet.