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Time For Manny Diaz To Make Decisions

What is Manny Diaz going to do with his defensive coaches?

Miami v Florida International Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Nearly a week has gone by since Miami’s bowl loss to Oklahoma State, and there still has yet to be any changes made to the Canes defensive staff. Yes, I'm being that guy and saying what everyone else has been saying for some time now, but really Manny Diaz?

I’m not making any hot takes or anything like that in this article, I'm just saying what everyone else has been yelling for, a new defensive coaching staff. You’ve seen what Blake Baker has, or hasn’t done, in two years as Miami’s DC, and it’s average at best.

Against unranked opponents, sure, the defense held up and made some plays so that the Hurricanes could win the game. But against ranked teams? That’s another story. Miami played 3 ranked teams this season, Clemson, UNC and Oklahoma State, and their defense gave up an average 47 points per game in those matchups. And in one of those games, the defense surrendered the most rushing yards in program history, as well as the most points at home in program history. Crickets.

Sure, you’re average against average teams. But if you want to build an elite defense and matchup against good teams, Manny has to step in and hire someone else to run that side of the ball.

We know that Manny isn’t afraid to fire coaches after a bad year. When he was hired as the head coach following the 2018 season, he let the entire offensive staff go, and after last year he did the same. So, why can’t he do the same when it comes to the defense?

Ephraim Banda is leaving to go to Utah State, and it looks like DeMarcus Van Dyke is leaving with him. At that point, why not just erase the rest of the defensive coaches? The only one I’d be sad to see go is Todd Stroud as DL coach, because I think he’s done a phenomenal job with that unit.

But the other defensive coaches, what are we keeping them around for? Mike Rumph has run his course with the cornerbacks. Players aren’t developing like many thought, and the lack of recruiting the position is laughable. Miami has zero true cornerbacks committed to the 2021 class, and you lost Christian Williams to the transfer portal earlier in the season. I know he’s a former Hurricane and national champion, but if a change isn’t made at CB coach, then I don't know what Manny is doing honestly.

We’ve seen this so many times in the last 10-15 years at Miami, where head coaches are unwilling to fire their friend on the staff, and all you get is more average football. Al Golden didn’t fire Mark D’onofrio, Mark Richt wouldn’t hand over play-calling to someone else or fire his son as QB coach, and we saw what happened with those two head coaches.

Manny cannot, CANNOT, afford to repeat those type of mistakes. If he makes the necessary changes on defense, then this fan base will be a whole lot more confident in Diaz’s vision for this program, and where he’s trying to take UM. If he doesn’t, then we’re just settling for average, yet again, not willing to make the difficult decision for the good of the program.