Miami coach Manny Diaz tests positive for COVID-19

David Furones, Sun Sentinel
·3 min read

Miami Hurricanes football coach Manny Diaz announced on Friday morning he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“I am currently in isolation and feeling good overall,” Diaz shared in a tweet. “I will continue to work with our team virtually as we prepare for our next game at Wake Forest.”

UM is on a two-week hiatus to its football schedule due to a coronavirus outbreak on the team. After being “on the brink” of calling off last Saturday’s game at Virginia Tech with 13 total players unavailable, an unknown number of positive tests on Monday caused them to postpone their next two games.

No. 12 Miami (7-1, 6-1 ACC) is next scheduled to return to action on Dec. 5 at Wake Forest before playing home vs. North Carolina on Dec. 12 and Georgia Tech on Dec. 19.

Over the next two weeks, Hurricanes players who are not isolating will partake in socially-distanced conditioning until the team can get enough players available to return to practice and prepare for the Dec. 5 game against the Demon Deacons. Diaz plans to continue to work with the team remotely during his isolation.

With the next UM game day 15 days away from Diaz’s positive test, it gives him the opportunity to clear COVID protocols and potentially return to coaching on the sideline if he tests negative before then. Diaz has previously stated Miami has provisional plans for all cases in which coaches are unavailable for a game to have other assistant take on their duties. He would not reveal any of those hypothetical scenarios, so it’s unknown which Hurricanes coordinator or assistant coach would assume the head coaching role if Diaz were not at a game.

Maryland coach Michael Locksley also tested positive for COVID-19 this week, on Monday. Later Friday, Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer and Troy football coach Chip Lindsey also tested positive.

Among other college football coaches to test positive this fall: Florida’s Dan Mullen, Florida State’s Mike Norvell, Kansas’ Les Miles, UCLA’s Chip Kelly and Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin. Norvell was not on the sideline for FSU’s 52-10 loss at Miami in September. Alabama coach Nick Saban had a positive test that was later determined to be a false positive.

Miami started the season doing better than most other college football teams in keeping the novel coronavirus away from its roster before the recent uptick in cases. The Hurricanes then had eight players unavailable on Oct. 24 against Virginia, although at least two were not due to COVID. After a bye week over Halloween, they were up to 11 at North Carolina State and the 13 that missed last Saturday’s win at Virginia Tech.

Miami was originally scheduled to host Georgia Tech on Saturday, but it is one of the 16 college football games and counting either canceled or postponed this week. It is now scheduled for Dec. 19, should UM not be in the ACC Championship Game set for the same Saturday or if the game does not impact which teams get into the conference’s title game.

More than 80 college football games have been canceled or postponed since the season began.

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