STARKVILLE, Miss.–“Welcome Back” may be the perfect theme song for Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, hired Monday by head Coach Dan Mullen after a four-year-stint away from the school.
In fact, in a Thursday interview on Head to Head, host Matt Wyatt played the 1976 John Sebastian tune, theme for the TV show “Welcome Back Kotter”, for Diaz as he was welcomed to the program. He told the show just why he left and why he came back home after four years away, playing for Mack Brown in Texas and for Louisiana Tech.
“This is obviously a profession where people move around at all times. Sometimes by their will and sometimes against their will,” said Diaz. “I’ve never gone for any job that’s ever come open.”
Diaz said he was recruited by Brown after his part in taking State to the Gator Bowl in 2010. It was much the same story for Diaz when he was recruited by Mullen to come back.
“This program has been in the build.”
PART OF THE INTERVIEW WITH MATT WYATT AND RICHARD CROSS
He said the success of State’s football program in 2014 shows that they are headed in the right direction.. He said he also feels that he may be able to add something different than before.
“I’m a different coach than I was four years ago. Dan Mullen’s a different guy. Mississippi State’s a very different place.”
Diaz is set to start recruiting soon and will get to work working with the team that is already in place, left behind by Geoff Collins, who took off for Florida.
“We play in the Southeastern Conference. Everybody better have good players. Those teams we’re playing have good players as well.”