Temple is finalizing a contract to make Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz its next head coach, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because details of the deal were still being worked out. Diaz would replace Geoff Collins, who left Temple after two seasons to become coach at Georgia Tech last week. Like Collins, Diaz has been a successful defensive coordinator with Power Five schools.
Their careers already have crossed. Collins helped replace Diaz as co-defensive coordinator at Mississippi State in 2011 after Diaz left for Texas. In 2015, when Collins left Mississippi State for Florida, Diaz returned to the Bulldogs.
Diaz, a Miami native, has directed top-15 defenses in yards per play allowed with the Hurricanes each season since joining them in 2016.
The 44-year-old went to Florida State and started his career as a graduate assistant on Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden's staff in 1998-99.
He seemed on a fast track to a head-coaching job in his 30s, but a three-year stint at Texas toward the end of Mack Brown's tenure as head coach turned out to be a setback for Diaz. He was fired early in the 2013 season.
Diaz resurfaced the next season at Louisiana Tech, before returning to Mississippi State for a year.
Temple was 8-4 this season under Collins, including 7-1 in the American Athletic Conference, with its loss to No. 7 UCF. The Owls have had five straight seasons of at least a .500 record under Matt Rhule and Collins, the longest stretch of sustained success for the program since the 1970s.