Charlotte Touchdown Club Announces Duke Head Football Coach MANNY DIAZ as Guest Speaker for 2024 Luncheon Speaker Series

Duke Head Football Coach
Guest Speaker for Thursday, May 30th “Legends of the Game” Speaker Series Luncheon

Charlotte, N.C. – The Charlotte Touchdown Club is excited to announce Duke Blue Devils new head football coach, Manny Diaz, as one of this year’s luncheon guest speakers.  The 2024 “Legends of the Game” Speaker Series Luncheon will be hosted Thursday, May 30th at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel from 12:00pm to 1:30pm.  (Silent Auction from 11:15am to 11:45am) An estimated sell-out crowd of more than 650 people is anticipated.  PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT THE CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB SCHOLARSHIP FUND!      

Manny Diaz was named the 23rd head football coach at Duke University on December 7, 2023.

In Diaz’s 26 years of coaching, three have been spent as a head coach and 15 as a defensive coordinator, including 10 at the FBS Power 5 level.

Diaz, 49, has coached in 21 bowl games, including two BCS national championship games, and led the Miami Hurricanes to three consecutive bowl appearances during his time as head coach. Those bowl games were the 2019 Walk-On’s Independence, the 2020 Cheez-It and the 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun bowl.

During his time in Happy Valley under head coach James Franklin, Diaz helped the Nittany Lions to a 21-4 (.840) record and back-to-back bowl appearances, including a 35-21 Rose Bowl win over No. 8 Utah to cap the 2022 season.

Since 2016, Diaz’s defenses have been a force behind the line of scrimmage ranking in the top-10 nationally in tackles for loss each year at No. 2 in 2023 (8.4), No. 5 in 2022 (8.0 per game), No. 9 in 2021 (7.75), No. 4 in 2020 (8.6), No. 4 in 2019 (8.3), No. 1 in 2018 (10.5), No. 4 in 2017 (8.5) and No. 5 in 2016 (8.3).

The 2022 Broyles Award semifinalist helped propel Penn State’s defense into one of the top units in the nation. During that two-year stretch, the Nittany Lions ranked in the top-25 in third down defense, fumbles recovered, passes intercepted, rushing defense, scoring defense, sacks, tackles for loss, total defense, turnover margin, and turnovers gained. Additionally, Penn State ranks first in the country in first down defense (151), third in passing yards allowed (153.60) and eighth in passing efficiency defense (109.34) this season, while its nation-leading 223.20 total yards allowed per game currently stands as the lowest in a single season in the FBS since Alabama’s 183.60 mark in 2011.

During his short tenure with the Nittany Lions, Diaz mentored 23 All-Big Ten selections, including four first team recipients. Individually, Diaz had a hand in the development of linebacker Abdul Carter, who was tabbed a second-team All-Big Team recipient, a FWAA Freshman All-American and a finalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award as a true freshman before garnering first team All-Big Ten nods this season.

Prior to his time at Penn State, Diaz spent six seasons at Miami, three as the head coach (2019-21) and three as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach (2016-18). During his time at the helm, he coached the Hurricanes to three consecutive bowl appearances and tied for the second most ACC wins in the league, trailing only Clemson.

Miami’s 2021 squad finished the regular season winning five of its last six games, including wins over top-20 opponents in No. 18 NC State and No. 17 Pittsburgh. In addition, Diaz guided third-string freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke to ACC Rookie of the Year honors. The 2020 Hurricanes finished 8-3 (7-2 ACC) overall, marking the second time with Diaz on staff as well as the second time in program history Miami won seven ACC games. That team concluded the year 18th in the final College Football Playoff rankings.

Prior to taking over as head coach, Diaz directed a Hurricane defensive unit which ranked fourth nationally in total defense (278.90) in 2018, while also finishing that season first in tackles for loss (10.5 per game), third down conversion defense (.253) and passing defense (135.60).

From 2018 to 2020, Miami featured at least one player with 15 tackles for loss in Jaelan Phillips (15.5 per game) in 2020, Gregory Rousseau (19.5 per game) in 2019 and Jonathan Garvin (18.0 per game) in 2018. All went on to be NFL draft picks at the conclusion of their Miami careers.

During the 2017 campaign, the Hurricanes ranked first nationally in sacks (3.38 per game), fourth in tackles for loss (8.5 per game), eighth in fumble recoveries (14) and 15th in interceptions (17). In addition, Miami won the 2017 ACC Coastal Division and earned a berth into The Capital One Orange Bowl.

Diaz joined Mark Richt’s Miami staff as defensive coordinator in 2016 and helped the Hurricanes rank fifth nationally in tackles for loss (up from 105th in 2015), tied for eighth in touchdowns allowed (up from 61st), ninth in yards allowed per play (up from 86th), 12th in scoring defense (up from 77th), 20th in total defense (up from 69th) and 22nd in sacks (up from 70th).

Prior to his tenure in Coral Gables, Diaz served as the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State for the 2015 season, where the 9-4 Bulldogs capped the year with a 51-28 victory over NC State. The Bulldogs limited opponents to just 23.2 points per game that season and ranked in the nation’s top 10 in red zone defense and tackles for loss.

Before Mississippi State, Diaz served as the defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech, where he helped guide the 2014 Bulldogs to a nation’s best 42 takeaways, including an impressive 26 interceptions. Prior to his arrival at Louisiana Tech, he served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Texas (2011-13) under head coach Mack Brown.

During his first stint at Mississippi State (2010), the Bulldogs ranked 13th nationally in red zone defense (.730), 17th in rushing defense (214.90) and tackles for loss per game (7.0), and 22nd in scoring defense (19.9) and takeaways (28).

Diaz also had stops at Middle Tennessee and NC State early in his career. He served as the Blue Raiders’ defensive coordinator for four seasons, while also mentoring the linebackers (2008-09) and safeties (2006-07). During his time with the Wolfpack, he was a graduate assistant (2000-01) before being promoted to assistant coach in charge of the linebackers (2002-03) and safeties and special teams (2004-05). Diaz began his coaching career at his alma mater Florida State (1998-99) as a graduate assistant and was part of the university’s national championship staff in 1999.

A native of Miami, Fla., Diaz graduated from Florida State with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1995.

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