Miami

University of Miami athletic director Blake James told the Miami Herald that football coach Manny Diaz “knows we need to win games,’’ but declined to say if his job is safe for the rest of the season.

When asked if Miami Diaz would definitely finish the season as head coach, James declined to answer specifically.

“I can’t look into the future,’’ James said. “I think it’s a situation where Manny is our head coach and he’s getting the guys ready to play a game tomorrow.

“Manny is our head coach. Obviously this has been a disappointing season. Manny would acknowledge that. Our guys would acknowledge that. And I understand that the fans acknowledge that.

“The last two losses have been very tough. The team has fought to the very end. And while those games could have easily gone our way and we’d be sitting here at 4-2 and 2-0 [in the Atlantic Coast Conference], they didn’t go our way.

“We need to win games. Manny knows we need to win games. And he and his coaching staff are doing everything they can to put our guys in position to win games.’’

The Hurricanes (2-4, 0-2 ACC), off to their worst start since 1997, meet No. 18 NC State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) at Hard Rock Stadium.

Going into the NC State game, Diaz, 47, is 16-14 since he became the head coach at Miami before the 2019 season.

The Herald asked Diaz if the NC State game could affect Diaz’s job status.

“Every game affects the evaluation of a job,’’ James said. “Again, dating back to his time over the years, every game you play affects your status. It strengthens it in certain games and obviously challenges it in others. Every game is part of the evaluation of someone’s job status.’’

James was then asked why he has decided not to replace Diaz at this time, considering the reality of where UM is as a football program.

“Because I don’t think that’s the best decision for the University of Miami football program,’’ James said.

Why not?

James: “When you look at Year One obviously there were some real challenges in Manny’s head coaching. He would acknowledge that. It was a tough finish for us with the three losses to end the season.

“Year two the team significantly improved (3:58) and had a great year overall. Obviously a very disappointing and frustrating loss to North Carolina and a battle with Oklahoma State that didn’t go our way. But calling it for what it is, an 8-2 regular- season record and loss in the bowl game.

“And this year has been disappointing on all accounts.

“We need to win more and Manny knows we need to win more and that’s what he’s focused on. But my job is to support him in doing that and part of that is getting ready to play North Carolina state tomorrow.”

Diaz has been under immense pressure since the end of the 2020 season, when the Canes finished 8-3 overall but got humiliated by North Carolina 62-26 in their final regular season game and went on to lose to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl. Miami has lost six of its past eight games dating to last season, and its past six games against opponents in Power 5 conferences. UM’s last win against a non-ACC Power 5 opponent was Nov. 11, 2017 against No. 3 Notre Dame.

This story will continue to be updated.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/miami-ad-blake-james-addresses-future-of-coach-diaz-e2-80-98manny-knows-we-need-to-win-games-e2-80-99/ar-AAPQjyI

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