Real Sports Profiles Miami Hurricanes’ First Cuban-American Head Football Coach

The grandson of Cuban exiles grew up to be UM’s first Cuban-American head football coach.

HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel returns with The American Dream.

Correspondent Andrea Kremer sat down with Manny Diaz Jr, the newly appointed Miami Hurricanes head coach and grandson of Cuban exiles to hear his remarkable family story.

Diaz Jr’s father and grandmother, Elisa Diaz, fled communist Cuba in 1961 in search of freedom and prosperity. With little to their name, and with Elisa’s husband still in Cuba as a prisoner of the Fidel Castro regime, Elisa worked tirelessly to create an opportunity for her family. She eventually climbed out of poverty by cleaning hotel rooms.

In 2001 Manny Diaz Senior was elected mayor of Miami, where he served two terms. Seventeen years later Manny Diaz Jr became the first Cuban-American head football coach at the University of Miami.

Real Sports with Bryan Gumbel returns Tuesday, March 26 at 10:00 ET/PT only on HBO.

Tabie is your friendly neighborhood transplant, currently attempting to live out the big New York dream. During my free time, I like to write stories and short essays. I also use this expensive thing I bought called a camera. I capture moments and the beautiful people I encounter. I live by the motto "collaboration over competition" because why waste energy bringing someone down when we can rise together. Manhattanville College Alum.