BulldawgJunction.com has reported that MSU defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is in Austin this morning interviewing for the vacant DC’s job at Texas. OrangeBloods.com is also reporting it. The job came open when Will Muschamp left to become Florida’s head coach.
It’s now been pretty well established that Diaz is in Austin, although he hasn’t returned my messages. However, through the wonderful medium of flight tracking (Flightaware.com), I know that a Learjet 45 departed from Bryan Field in Starkville at 8:37 a.m. today and landed at Austin-Bergstrom International at 10:10 a.m.
That plane arrived in Starkville from Tulsa early this morning, and Flightaware says it has gone back to Tulsa, for now at least.
UPDATE: Diaz’s wife, Stephanie Diaz, was spotted by Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com at the Texas football offices. She was being dropped off there by Sally Brown, wife of Texas head coach Mack Brown.
MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin has declined to either confirm or deny that Diaz has interviewed with Texas.
In a text message to the Journal, MSU head coach Dan Mullen said, “We have a new policy, we only talk about MSU. We don’t talk about other jobs; that applies to the whole staff. Too many distractions with us in December.”
MSU spokesman Joe Galbraith said he didn’t know if Diaz was in town but said he was not in the office today; he added that none of the assistant coaches were in. “Some are recruiting, others taking a break,” he said.
Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com reports that Diaz is indeed out of town, but Galbraith said he merely told Dodd that Diaz is “out of the office.”
Diaz, 36, was hired in January and turned MSU’s defense into a formidable unit this season, one of the best in the SEC. In Saturday’s 52-14 Gator Bowl win over Michigan, the No. 21-ranked Bulldogs (9-4) held the Wolverines to 88 rushing yards and 342 total yards, the latter total 158 yards below their season average coming in.
Diaz is making $260,000 this year and is in line for a raise, along with MSU’s other assistant coaches. He coached previously at Florida State, N.C. State and Middle Tennessee State.