Manny Diaz's dream job didn't arrive at the most convenient time. He was hired as Temple's head coach on Dec. 12, 2018, and on Dec. 30, Mark Richt announced his retirement as Miami's head coach. "I answered the phone and (my wife) said in a very monotone voice, 'Mark Richt just retired.' At that moment, the world really, really started spinning."
Diaz obviously took the Temple job with an eye on preparing himself to be Miami's next head coach, but that job was supposed to stay occupied for the next three-to-five years, not 18 days. "It was an insane moment. There's nothing that can prepare you for that," Diaz said in a speech to the National Football Foundation's Brian Piccolo Chapter. "To find out that all of a sudden UM is open, things got a little dizzying for the next five hours."
That's how long Diaz says it took for him to be offered and accept the job as Richt's successor. At 12:30 in the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 30, Richt stepped down as Miami's head coach. By 6 p.m. that evening, "the deal was in place," Diaz said.
While he didn't plan on leaving Temple looking for its third head coach in the month of December -- Geoff Collins had left for Georgia Tech earlier that month; Temple would eventually hire Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey to replace Diaz -- Diaz said God's timing doesn't stop and start at our convenience.
"That's an extraordinary chain of events that only God's hand could explain," he said. "There's too many things that could never have happened if it was all planned out by man."