Honestly, of these three names, I think Manny Diaz would excite me the most. I don’t think Diaz is a bad coach. I actually think he’s a really good one.
I think he’s a brilliant defensive mind who has innovated time and time again. He’s been the architect of good MSU defenses and he’s even got some P5 head coaching experience, which is something that some members of MSU’s fanbase really crave for this hire.
But Diaz’ record of bouncing around so quickly when better opportunities are just around the corner makes me hesitant. And it’s not necessarily that I’m of the opinion that Mississippi State should be everyone’s dream job, it’s just that Diaz took a head coaching gig at Temple and then very quickly turned around and left for Miami.
During his time at Miami, Diaz actually had a winning record and he made some intriguing hires (like Rhett Lashlee to be his offensive coordinator), but Diaz was out in three seasons because the Hurricanes got impatient and moved on to a theoretically better opportunity.
Which, you know, sucks.
If Diaz is hired in Starkville, I think State would get someone who understands how difficult it can be to win at MSU and also someone who understands what it’s like to be forced into a rebuilding situation (winning with the Miami Hurricanes isn’t easy to do anymore).
Those are good things to have.
But how long would MSU have Diaz? Would it be for a year? Would it be for three years?
Ideally, this next Mississippi State football hire needs to be for more than just a couple of seasons. The Bulldogs desperately need stability right now. If Diaz is going to come to Starkville, you’d have to hope you could get at least four or five good seasons out of him (I’m not counting his first year because I think MSU will be in a year zero situation in 2024).
If you get that from Diaz, then I think MSU football would be in a good place. But that’s not something you can just guarantee.