Manny Diaz is set to return to Mississippi State as defensive coordinator, according to reports from Sports Illustrated and ESPN on Monday afternoon. Update: The deal is done. Diaz will sign a three-year contract.
Diaz served as Dan Mullen’s defensive coordinator in 2010, helping the Bulldogs to a 9-4 season while ranking 48th in yards per play allowed, 49th in total defense and 21st in scoring defense. Diaz left Starkville to take a similar post at Texas, where he stayed through 2013. Until this year’s 10-3 campaign, that 2010 season was Mullen’s best in his now six-year tenure at Mississippi State.
He spent the 2014 season helping Skip Holtz post a bounce back season, jumping from 4-8 to 9-5 with a Conference USA West Division championship and a Heart of Dallas Bowl victory. Diaz’s units have also specialized in aggressive play, and his Bulldogs led FBS in takeaways (42) while tying for second in tackles for loss (114) and placing 16th in sacks (38).
Diaz would replace Geoff Collins, who took a similar job at Florida, which Mullen famously described as “a lateral move.”
Diaz earned $180,000 at Louisiana Tech this fall according to USA Today while Collins made $575,000 at Mississippi State.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.