Opinion

Uncle Luke: UM Needs to Fire Head Football Coach Manny Diaz Jr.

Luther Campbell, AKA Uncle Luke
Luther Campbell, AKA Uncle Luke Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty
Blake James, the University of Miami's athletic director, needs to cut its head football coach, Manny Diaz, Jr., loose. Everything he said about Diaz when he hired him to take over the program from Mark Richt in 2018 has failed to come to fruition.

Diaz has failed on every point: That he’d bring in great assistant coaches. That players would run through walls for him. That the team would win championships. It’s been three years, and none of that has been accomplished.

He’s even posted a worse record than Al Golden, the former Hurricanes coach who was instrumental in the program’s rapid decline.

Under Diaz’s direction, the Hurricanes have endured one embarrassing loss after another: Florida International University, the University of North Carolina, Clemson University, the University of Alabama, and Michigan State University.

Everything that made the U great has been torn down. Even the turnover chain has turned into a joke. The Hurricanes are the laughingstock of college football. Fans are delusional, living in the past of the team’s glory days.

Yet, South Florida is still the football mecca of the U.S. when it comes to talent. High school players would prefer to stay home and go to the U. Problem is, the program doesn’t have the coaches who can develop them into NFL-caliber players and get them to the next level. So high school players and their parents have to make a hard decision and go to elite programs like Alabama and Clemson, since Diaz and his assistants do not have a good track record.

Lately, Miami Hurricanes football is relying too much on transfer players because they can’t compete with the big boys in recruiting. That is not how to run a top-of-the-line program.

Blake James needs to conduct a monumental shakeup. Fans and former players want the U to bring in legendary former ’Canes Gino Torretta and Alonzo Highsmith to oversee football operations and hire away Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin.

Haters will say Kiffin will cost too much and that his contract included a large buyout clause. That is not the case. He is the best coaching candidate who can restore Hurricanes swagger. When he was top dog at Florida Atlantic University, he had former Hurricanes players with him on his sideline. Kiffin would walk back to Miami if offered the Hurricanes head coaching position.

It’s time for Blake James to cut the b.s. and make the boldest move of his athletic director tenure. It’s time to bring back the U.
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