Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is finalizing contract details Duke’s new head coach Sports Illustrated reported on Thursday morning. The news comes a few days after it was reported that Diaz was among a handful of finalists for the job. Diaz would replace head coach Mike Elko who recently took over at Texas A&M in the same role.

This would be Diaz’s second stint as a head coach having served as Miami’s head coach from 2018 to 2021 before taking over at Penn State as the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator. While in State College, Diaz piloted a Penn State defense that was among the best in the nation each of the two years that he was at the helm. Diaz had never denied his interest in becoming a head coach again sometime soon, but what sort of job he was looking for, and when that opportunity might arise were both unknowns.

“…We’d like to create a situation here for Manny and his family that he wants to be here until he has an opportunity to get a really good head coaching job that’s going to allow him to flourish,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said a few weeks ago. “I think Brent [Pry] handled it probably as well as any. He had a great job, turned down a bunch of jobs waiting for the right one.”

The departure of Diaz marks the second major coordinator hire Franklin will make this offseason. Franklin has already hired a new offensive coordinator in Andy Kotelnicki from Kansas to replace Mike Yuricch who was fired following the Nittany Lions’ loss to Michigan. It remains to be seen if Franklin will opt for a nationwide search to replace Diaz or if he simply promote co-defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter to the role.

It remains to be seen who, if anyone, Diaz might bring with him from Penn State.

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