Manny Diaz can’t thank James Franklin and the defensive staff enough for his time in Happy Valley.

At his Duke introductory press conference, Diaz said he would be shocked if any other coaching staff had more fun than the one at Penn State did. Diaz was especially grateful to James Franklin for allowing the assistant to be a part of the Nittany Lion culture.

“I’m thankful for them, the defensive staff; if there is a coaching staff that had more fun than us, I’d like to see it,” said Diaz. “And thank you to James Franklin for bringing me to Penn State and letting me be part of that culture.”

Diaz recalled how quickly Franklin contacted him after being fired from Miami. Diaz was let go at Miami in December 2021 and Franklin contacted the former Hurricane head coach within the hour.

While Diaz is now in Durham, it’s apparent that he’s still glad to have been with the Nittany Lions.