Age: 39 (Born Feb. 19, 1973)
Current Position: Defensive Coordinator, Notre Dame (Third Season)
Career Record: N/A
Previous Resume: Defensive Coordinator, Cincinnati (2009); Defensive Coordinator/Special Teams/Linebackers Coach, Virginia (2006-08); Defensive Coordinator/Special Teams/Linebackers Coach, Western Michigan (2004-05)
Notable Accomplishments: 2012 Broyles Award (Nation's top assistant coach) finalist
Notable Pupils: Manti Te'o (Linebacker, Notre Dame), Stephon Tuitt (Defensive End, Notre Dame), Louis Nix (Nose Guard, Notre Dame)
Coaching Philosophy: 3-4 defense
CSD Impressions: After covering the Irish's win over USC to finish off an undefeated regular season and claim a spot in the BCS championship game, I felt strongly that Cal should at least kick the tires on Diaco and consider him for an interview given the remarkable showing of the front seven, with their defensive line being the best position group I saw in person all season by a mile.
At a program that was utterly lacking in toughness and discipline on defense, Diaco has built the identity of this surprising season around that group. They outworked and outmuscled every opponent, while reaping the benefits of national recruiting. He could do for Cal what Jim Harbaugh did at Stanford, getting the biggest and brightest from every corner of the country to set the tone in the trenches.
Those that cover Notre Dame regard Diaco as an aloof policy wonk, but he is highly respected and liked by players. However, that lack of personality might be an issue given the financial obligations the program is facing after the renovation of Memorial Stadium, meaning Cal might need a more accessible face to glad-hand donors.
There is also the issue of the offense, as Diaco would need and certainly demand the resources to bring in a top-notch coordinator to run the show. Whether he would run some variation of the spread option or a system more suited to Cal's current crop of quarterbacks is unknown.
Best-Case Scenario: Bob Stoops
Coming from a high-pressure, high-profile job as defensive coordinator at Florida, Stoops was able to seamlessly take over the top role, immediately capitalizing on the history and promise of Oklahoma to turn them into one of the nation's top programs. After working under Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, Diaco is able to pick up the ball in similar fashion at Cal and turn a talented roster into a winning team.
Worst-Case Scenario: Gene Chizik
Despite his strong track record as defensive coordinator at Auburn and Texas, Chizik was never able to fully adjust to life as the man in charge. The risk with Diaco is that he follows the same path, never sure of his role in overseeing the offense and program as a whole.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.