CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Fired Miami head coach Manny Diaz said Monday that he was "disappointed" by the school's decision to oust him in favor of Oregon head coach and alumnus Mario Cristobal.
"I am disappointed in the university's decision and the manner in which this played out over the last few weeks," Diaz wrote. "The uncertainty impacted our team, our staff and their families -- these are real people that gave everything to this program. For that, for them, I hurt."
Diaz praised the "resiliency" of his players through "significant injuries and adversity" and spoke about the "unique challenges" that the Hurricanes faced this season.
"Our young talent got valuable playing time and experienced significant growth, setting the stage for a breakout 2022 season," Diaz wrote. "Our team's resolve is evidence of a genuine belief in what we were building and, perhaps more importantly, how we were doing it."
The Hurricanes (7-5) won five of their last six games after a 2-4 start to the season. But the writing appeared to be on the wall after Miami's lone loss during that span -- a 31-28 loss at Florida State in which the Hurricanes rallied from a 20-7 halftime deficit and led 28-20 in the fourth quarter before the Seminoles staged an 11-point comeback, highlighted by a fourth-and-14 pass to set up the game-winning touchdown.
Miami parted ways with athletic director Blake James days after the game and rumblings that Diaz's job was in jeopardy mounted.
Throughout it all, Diaz continued to recruit for Miami until the bitter end.
Miami successfully coaxed Cristobal away from Oregon, where he led the Ducks to three straight Pacific 12 Conference Championship games and two Pac-12 titles in four seasons.
"With the foundation in place, and the new resources being introduced, I have no doubt that the future is bright for this program," Diaz wrote.
Diaz was 21-15 through three seasons, including a 16-9 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and 0-2 in bowl games.
It's not yet known who will coach the Hurricanes in the New Year's Eve Sun Bowl against Washington State.