Manny Diaz wasted no time in making some staff changes after taking over at Miami. Even before his introductory press conference, word of Diaz letting go the entire offensive staff had circulated, which he confirmed while fielding questions at the podium.
Inheriting his coaches that worked under him on the defensive side of the ball as he moved into the head coaching role left an open position on defense, and sources tell FootballScoop that Diaz is bringing a familiar face and trusted confidant on board.
Blake Baker, the 32-year old defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech who is very well regarded as a fast riser in the coaching profession, is being brought in as Miami’s new defensive coordinator, sources share with FootballScoop. Baker and Diaz previously worked together in Ruston, and Baker was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2015 following Manny leaving for the defensive coordinator spot at Mississippi State. The two were also on the same Texas staff in 2011, where Manny was the defensive coordinator and Baker served as defensive graduate assistant working with the linebackers and defensive backs.
After his time in Austin, Baker joined the Arkansas State defensive staff, and he also briefly worked at Boise State as the director of player personnel before landing the job at Louisiana Tech.
The move will provide Diaz and Miami with some important continuity, is well versed in Diaz’s defensive philosophy and expectations from their time working together.
This past season, Louisiana Tech finished 27th in total defense (341 ypg) while allowing just 23 points per game (39th). Their pass defense this past season also ranked in the top 30 nationally.
Sources tell us that Diaz had originally planned to bring Baker to Temple before Richt’s retirement prompted Manny’s return to The U.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.