UM head coach Manny Diaz tests positive for COVID-19

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami coach Manny Diaz said Friday he is in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus, and he will work virtually with the No. 12 Hurricanes until he can return to the field.

Miami is not scheduled to play again until Dec. 5 at Wake Forest. The Hurricanes had games scheduled for this coming Saturday and Nov. 28, postponing both earlier this week because of coronavirus issues.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am currently in isolation and feeling good overall,” Diaz tweeted. “I will continue to work with our team virtually as we prepare for our next game at Wake Forest.”

The Hurricanes are third in the Atlantic Coast Conference, 7-1 overall and 6-1 in league play. They’ve won each of their last four games, including a comeback 25-24 win at Virginia Tech last weekend. Miami was “on the brink,” Diaz said, of choosing to not play that game because its roster was dealing with so many coronavirus cases.

“We were just really down on the numbers at offensive line,” Diaz said after that game, in which his five starting offensive linemen played all 86 snaps without a substitution. “And you know, just makes it hard to practice, makes it hard to do anything.”

He becomes the latest major-college football coach to have a positive COVID-19 test released, a list that includes Florida’s Dan Mullen, Florida State’s Mike Norvell, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin and Kansas’ Les Miles. Alabama coach Nick Saban also tested positive, but did not miss a game after that result was later deemed false.

Earlier this week, Diaz said he believes the coronavirus numbers nationally “are really, really getting to a bad place.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than 1 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. in the past week alone, numbers that — when combined with soaring hospitalization rates — prompted the CDC to urge Americans to curtail Thanksgiving travel and not partake in large gatherings with people from outside their household.

“What we know is we don’t have a coronavirus-in-college-football problem,” Diaz said Monday. “We have a coronavirus-in-America problem.”

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