As if the USC Trojans haven't had enough turmoil in their probation-filled seasons. Now they'll have to do without one of their position coaches for their season opener against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Defensive back Willie Mack Garza is heading out for personal reasons. USC Athletics has released a statement on the matter (via Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports).
"I stepped down today from my coaching duties at USC," Garza said. "I have some personal issues unrelated to USC that I need to address. I wish the Trojans the best and I am sorry I won't be with them in what I know will be a very successful season."
Garza had been in the coaching ranks for 17 years, starting as a graduate assistant in Texas in 1994 before moving on to coach the secondary (or parts of the secondary) in stops in Western Michigan, TCU, and Tartleton State. He moved on to North Dakota State, where he moved up to defensive coordinator. This is where Lane Kiffin found him, and the young coach of the Vols made him his defensive backs coach in Tennessee in 2009. Garza followed Kiffin back to Los Angeles to coach the USC secondary in 2010, which struggled mightily in comparison to their predecessors.
Graduate assistant Sammy Knight is the likely replacement to take over. We wish Coach Garza the best in attending to his personal matters. It gives USC's defense another challenge in the 2010 season.
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