CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - The Miami Hurricanes held an introductory press conference to present its 25th head coach, Manny Diaz.
Diaz was presented with a Canes game jersey with his last name and the number 25 on it.
He received a warm reception from the press as he laid out his vision for the future of the team.
“We’re going to play fast. We’re gonna use our speed. We’re gonna let our athletes go,” Diaz said. “Lastly, we’re gonna have fun. We’re gonna play with passion.”
On Sunday, head coach Mark Richt announced his sudden retirement after three seasons.
Within hours, Diaz, who had taken a head coaching job at Temple, told Miami he would accept their offer to be the head coach in a reported five-year deal.
“When I woke up Sunday morning, as Blake mentioned, I was putting together a staff to lead Temple to a championship,” Diaz said. “We went to Temple knowing that we would not be back.”
Now the hard work begins after a disappointing 7-6 season for the Canes.
“The University of Miami is a place that has very high standards,” Diaz told reporters. “It’s our responsibility to make sure that we play up to the standards of those that went before us. Accountability has consequences. Unfortunately, that’s just the way the world works.”
Diaz was fired up at times for the Canes as spring practice is right around the corner.
“For us to be truly demanding of greatness of our players, we have to be demanding of greatness amongst ourselves,” Diaz said. “Our guys understand that when they come back in January, that we’re going to hold them all to the standards that those came before us set. Those that can live up to that will usually lead us to great things.”
Understanding the pressure placed on him, Diaz is wasting no time with the Canes.
“There’s a lot of things that need to get done in a short amount of time,” he said. “Probably spending a lot more time trying to get those things done than sitting around and pinching myself about what an amazing opportunity this is.”
7’s Mike Dipasquale reminded him that the season kicks off Aug. 31 in Orlando against the Florida Gators.
“I love it because that’s the game Miami should want to play in,” Diaz responded with a smile. “That’s the setting that Miami should want to play in because that’s how you define yourself here at the school.”
The team’s athletic director, Blake James, was also at the press conference speaking highly of Diaz and his predecessor.
“Manny Diaz is our head coach because he’s the right man, at the right time and he has the vision to build upon what Mark Richt built and continues down the path toward national prominence, competing for conference and national championships,” James said.
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