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Manny Diaz to assume defensive play-calling duties for Hurricanes

Miami head coach says Blake Baker will remain defensive coordinator
Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz celebrates TD vs. Florida State Seminoles in 2020
Posted at 9:19 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 21:19:59-05

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz will take over play-calling duties in 2021.

In finalizing the coaching staff for next season, Diaz announced Thursday that Blake Baker will remain as defensive coordinator.

"Blake will continue to run our defense and I will call the defensive plays on game days, which we feel is our best path to maximizing our strengths on that side of the ball," Diaz said in a statement.

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Diaz was Miami's defensive coordinator for three seasons under former head coach Mark Richt, who retired after the 2018 season.

Baker was hired by Diaz to be his defensive coordinator in 2019.

But the Hurricanes (8-3), who were ranked No. 22 in the final Associated Press poll of the 2020 season, struggled defensively at the end of 2020, giving up a combined 99 points in late-season losses to North Carolina and Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Diaz has plenty of experience as a defensive play caller. He served as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State, Texas, Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech, where he worked with Baker.