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Montana State's Willie Mack Garza charged with DUI hours after Week 12 win

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Nov 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-01 08:26:33-05

BOZEMAN — Willie Mack Garza, the first-year defensive coordinator for Montana State was arrested and charged with driving under the influence on Nov. 19 several hours after the Bobcats' 55-21 win over the University of Montana, according to charging documents that were obtained by MTN Sports.

MSU announced Monday via press release that Garza is suspended for the Bobcats' second-round FCS playoff game against Weber State on Saturday but provided no further details.

According to charging documents, Garza was pulled over at 10:33 p.m. for speeding 45 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone near the intersection of Main and Rouse.

In the report, an MHP Trooper indicated that Garza had a ‘strong odor' but that he refused both a breathalyzer and blood test, which automatically suspends one’s license in the state of Montana.

Additionally, since Garza has been a resident in the State of Montana for more than 60 days, he was also cited for still having a Texas driver's license.

During his weekly press conference on Monday, Vigen said linebackers coach Bobby Daly would assume coordinator duties and will call the defense Saturday against Weber State.

"We all have a responsibility to each other, to our team, to our university, to our community to make decisions with all those entities in mind," Vigen said. "Coach Garza failed to do so, and because of that will be serving a one-game suspension this Saturday."

According to his driver’s license, Nov. 19 also marked Garza’s 53rd birthday.

This was not Garza's first brush with the law. Wyoming suspended Garza during the 2019 season following a charge for driving under the influence. In the early 2000s, Garza resigned from a defensive coaching position at TCU after being arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Garza came to MSU with nearly three decades of coaching experience. He and Vigen worked together on the coaching staffs at both North Dakota State and Wyoming.

Montana State says they have no further comment on the matter. MTN Sports did reach out to Garza’s attorney but has not received a response.

The playoff game between Big Sky Conference rivals Montana State (10-1) and Weber State (10-2) kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.