The Florida International Golden Panthers are interested in Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive coordinator Geoff Collins and Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as candidates for the football program's head coaching vacancy, according to CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman.
Collins served as FIU's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 2010. His unit led the Sun Belt Conference in several defensive categories a year after it finished near the bottom of the NCAA in scoring defense and total defense. In 2012, Collins' defense finished 28th in the country in scoring defense and 60th in total yards allowed per game.
Diaz does not have a history with FIU, but does possess significant ties to the area. His father, Manny Diaz Sr., was the mayor of Miami from 2001 to 2009. Diaz served as Mississippi State's defensive coordinator in 2010, a job that was filled by Collins upon Diaz's departure. There, his defense was ranked 22nd in the country in points per game allowed. At Texas, Diaz has not had as much success; the Longhorns rank in the mid-70s in both scoring defense and total defense.
After two consecutive winning seasons, Florida International finished 3-9 under Mario Cristobal in 2012. Cristobal was fired on Wednesday.