December 28th, 2018. The Miami Hurricanes just finished their season by getting absolutely mauled by Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl, ending their year with a horrific 7-6 record. A season that started with such optimism, has now taken the worst turn possible. Players unhappy, drama in the locker room, and seemingly nothing on the horizon to look forward to. With defensive coordinator Manny Diaz gone to become the head coach at Temple, and current HC Mark Richt not looking to change anything, Canes fans are thinking to themselves what on earth does the future hold for this once historic program.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Pinstripe Bowl vs Wisconsin Badgers Edition. Terrible. Horrible. Atrocious. Unacceptable. Fireable. Disgusting. Pathetic. Deplorable. Disgusting. Infuriating. #Canes https://t.co/MgW2ANMcFJ pic.twitter.com/Sv2Y60EeM1— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) December 28, 2018
Miami coach Mark Richt announced his retirement Sunday after compiling a 26-13 record the past three seasons at his alma mater.Richt's announcement came only three days after the Hurricanes lost to Wisconsin 35-3 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which dropped their record to 7-6. pic.twitter.com/QKsChTabQu— NFL Newswire (@newswire_nfl) December 30, 2018
June 25th, 2019. The Miami Hurricanes have just wrapped up their annual Paradise Camp, and several of the nations top recruits just spent the weekend in Coral Gables, seeing for themselves the buzz that is surrounding this UM program. Head coach Manny Diaz and his entire new staff has revamped Miami into a team that has a bright future, and has fans, boosters, former and current players ecstatic about the future.
What a weekend for Canes Nation........— Kelvin Harris (@Ebonylifestyles) June 23, 2019
Mark Richt started a great summer tradition 4 years ago called the Paradise Camp & Manny Diaz took it 2 another level this weekend.
Now the current Canes need 2 take the baton & make this a season 2 remember#C4L
What a ride its been so far, huh guys? I'll tell you what. Back in December, watching that Wisconsin bowl game, I was about as down as you could get when it comes to being a Canes fan, and I know I wasn’t alone.
I’ll never forget, December 30th, I was driving from Salt Lake City to Denver with my friends, and for the majority of that drive the service is absolutely terrible, so I couldn’t get online or anything. Then at one point, in a small window of reception in the middle of Wyoming, my phone was flooded with texts saying that coach Richt was retiring. Then when I had the chance to check Twitter, it was confirmed.
Upon hearing that Rex Ryan's name has been tossed in the hat for head coaching job in Miami..... pic.twitter.com/ULwtY70MSx— The Amigo® (@TheAmigo) December 30, 2018
Filed to CBS Sports: Until further notice, Miami is Mario Cristobal's to turn down. Complicating matters: He absolutely loves Oregon, it's easier to win at Oregon (no Clemson in the league) but Miami is a better job.— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) December 30, 2018
For the rest of the drive, and most of the day, my thoughts were wandering. I couldn't get on Twitter or online for the next several hours, so my mind was like a wild animal, running in every direction. I started thinking about possible coaches. Rex Ryan? Butch Davis? Mario Cristobal? I didn’t even consider Manny as a potential option. Then, later that night, while walking the streets of Denver, I got the news that Diaz was hired, and I couldn't contain my excitement.
The Miami Herald can confirm that Manny Diaz has been hired by the University of Miami as its newest head coach.— Susan Miller Degnan (@smillerdegnan) December 31, 2018
Seeing this at a restaurant in Denver, AND I AM SO HAPPY TO BE A CANE pic.twitter.com/spEskl3Pek— marshthomas (@hurricanesmarsh) December 31, 2018
YES!!!!!!!!! ITS GREAT TO BE A MIAMI HURRICANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/o8egXLxlgq— marshthomas (@hurricanesmarsh) December 31, 2018
From that night on, it’s been an ongoing six-plus months of excitement. From hiring a new coaching staff, to the transfer portal, recruiting, all the way up to this past week with Paradise Camp, I’ve never seen a crazier and exciting offseason for a team. Everyday, Canes fans have been glued to their phones and social media, waiting for what move Manny and UM is gonna make next.
The Hurricanes football program had one of the worst December’s imaginable. Blown out in the Pinstripe Bowl, Manny Diaz leaves and Mark Richt retires.— Kevin Fielder (@TheKevinFielder) January 16, 2019
Then, January came around and the Hurricanes are having a terrific offseason in every way.
First, there was the search for the offensive coordinator. For a hot second, it seemed that Larry Fedora was going to be the guy. Then the next week it was Major Applewhite. The next day it was Tee Martin. Flip-flopping ensued for what seemed like an eternity. The name Dan Enos didn't even register to me.
247sports analyst shares what he's heard on the Miami OC search https://t.co/TtOAjtmxED— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) January 10, 2019
Then there were situations with guys like K.J. Osborn and Jaelan Phillips. We would hear a rumor about it, maybe even from one person, and we couldn’t put our phones down. When Trevon Hill was in the transfer portal, man, that seemed like an eternity for Miami to sign him. One day it was reported that he was coming to UM, then the next day it was off.
The Wait is Over...Officially a HURRICANE ⛓ I can’t wait to get to work, #TNM is going to be a problem for the opposition Thank you God for giving me a second chance the COMEBACK is going to be something serious pic.twitter.com/yWhfKJnUlL— Jaelan Phillips ; ® (@JJPhillips15) February 22, 2019
Buffalo grad transfer WR KJ Osborn is grad transferring to Miami for his final year of eligibility. The 6'0" 205 pound receiver snagged 53 balls for 892 yards and 7 TD's for the Bulls in 2018 https://t.co/vahQmSFjWQ— Stefan Adams (@stefan_adams305) January 11, 2019
When Trevon Hill was in the transfer portal, man, that seemed like an eternity for Miami to sign him. One day it was reported that he was coming to UM, then the next day it was off. First it was reported on January 24th that he’d be coming to Miami. That was false. A week later, now Missouri was in the mix, and there was a time when I thought the Canes weren't going to get him. Finally on February 6th, it was announced Hill was going to be a Hurricane.
We expect Trevon Hill to grad transfer to Miami— Caneshades (@CANESHADES) January 24, 2019
Virginia Tech DE transfer Trevon Hill is mainly interested in Miami and Missouri. With the 2019 postseason now on Mizzou one would think Miami's odds are very high. #TNM— The Crazy Cane (@TheCrazyCane) January 31, 2019
Virginia Tech’s Trevon Hill has signed to transfer to Miami according to head coach Manny Diaz pic.twitter.com/di6UNbN4qT— Christopher Stock (@InsideTheU) February 6, 2019
Above all else, who could forget the infamous night of January 15th, when it was reported that Tate Martell would be transferring to Miami, and Jeff Thomas would be returning to UM. News spread just like a wildfire that evening, and you were just certain there would be breaking news whenever you refreshed your timeline. What started as just a rumor on Twitter, blossomed into the beautiful reality we have now at Miami.
4 is back, this is real. I love you Manny Diaz pic.twitter.com/HxCI0eQJwG— marshthomas (@hurricanesmarsh) January 16, 2019
Good morning. Jeff Thomas and Tate Martell are Miami Hurricanes— Mikey (@MikeSanchize) January 16, 2019
right back like we never left...— TATE MARTELL (@TheTateMartell) January 16, 2019
I’M A HURRICANE! pic.twitter.com/6Dh0gu4fxD
Once Tathan announced he was transferring, the next step was awaiting the approval from the NCAA as to whether or not he was eligible to play in 2019. Then on March 19th, after two months of waiting, the heavens were opened and the announcement came through.
we aren’t ready yet.. but we will be!— TATE MARTELL (@TheTateMartell) March 19, 2019
oh btw... I’M ELIGIBLE TO PLAY! pic.twitter.com/jSr9wmwiqi
Along with the transfer portal, recruiting has been wild as well. From the commitments of players like Jalen Rivers and Tyler Van Dyke, to even de-commitments, to the on-campus visits of Darnell Washington and Jake Garcia.
OH. MY. GOSH. He’s incredible https://t.co/e3zObIOsep— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) June 23, 2019
Even this past weekend at Paradise Camp, there were so many announcements, late night commitments, videos being taken, it’s almost like you were an active participant being on Twitter as a Canes fan.
Coach Diaz, in the six months of being HC at Miami, has turned his Twitter account into the most-watched spectacle in South Florida. He made emojis and gifs famous around Hurricanes fans, and whenever he tweets anything, you know you’re in for a long night.
Above all else, he’s taken a fanbase and a program that was searching for answers, and has now breathed new life into the Miami Hurricanes. And do you want to know something crazy? He hasn’t even coached a game yet! Even crazier? There’s still two months of the offseason.