It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that just seven weeks ago Miami got demolished by an average Wisconsin team.
The days and couple of weeks following left the Hurricanes program in the eye of the storm, bending to the point where it couldn't withstand the winds much longer, and Mark Richt was front and center watching it all crumble before him.
Manny Diaz had fled the scene, taking his first head coaching job at Temple. It was an opportunity he couldn't pass up, and still he stuck around the program to see the season through despite a lackluster performance in the bowl game.
Many names were tossed around as possibilities to lead this program, but it was ultimately Diaz who was bought out of his contract with Temple the same day that Richt selflessly resigned without any expectation for the compensation remaining on his contract.
Despite a pretty dreadful ending to his career, with fans and others alike pointing out any and every flaw in his decision making, he went out a Cane.
Immediately, Diaz went to work. The Hurricanes were understandably having a tough year recruiting. A three-win regression in the ACC Coastal, which was essentially a gimme for the Canes in the pre-season, would set back any program.
Regardless of the circumstances, Diaz put his big boy pants on and sparked life into a dying program. He has deliberately and ferociously recruited athletes nationally he felt would make this program better, while showing the local high school recruits that this is in fact “The New Miami.”
He and offensive coordinator Dan Enos have put together a staff that is willing and able to fix an offense that ranked 104th nationally. Together, the staff is creating competition in the weight room, in film sessions, in mat drills, in everything.
There is never a point where these student-athletes are not competing and that drive and desire to win should transfer onto the field. It’s all about building successful habits.
There is still a lot to look forward to and plenty of questions that still need to be answered (like when are we deciding about Martell, NCAA?), but there can be absolutely no doubt about the effort that Diaz has put into a program that he grew up loving, coaching at, and now leading.
THANK YOU, MANNY!
LOVE, CANES FAM