LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - McNeese football coach Frank Wilson announced the hiring of college coaching veteran Willie Mack Garza to the team’s coaching staff Thursday. Garza will coach McNeese’s safeties for the spring season.
His addition to the coaching staff is in response to the Cowboys losing defensive coordinator Grady Brown just 10 days before the season opener. Brown left McNeese to coach cornerbacks at the University of Houston. Brown has since left that job to coach the secondary for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Garza brings with him over two decades of coaching experience with stops at USC, TCU, Tennessee, Wyoming, Lamar, Prairie View A&M, North Dakota State and Western Michigan. Garza was on Tennessee’s staff with Wilson. He also has spent time in the Southland Conference as a part of the Lamar coaching staff in 2016.
Garza last coached safeties at Wyoming in 2019 before his resignation in October of 2019.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported that Garza left the Wyoming program “less than two weeks after being charged with driving under the influence.” The report said Garza pleaded not guilty to both misdemeanor charges.
It marked the second time Garza resigned from a coaching job. Garza stepped down from his position as USC’s secondary coach prior to the 2011 season. The Casper Star-Tribune reported, “he received a two-year show-cause penalty from the NCAA for his role in major recruiting violations when he was an assistant on Lane Kiffin’s staff at Tennessee in 2009.”
Garza was a four-year (1988, 1990-92) starter at cornerback and safety at Texas under then-head coach David McWilliams. He was a Freshman All-American and the Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year in 1988. The Longhorns went 10-2 and played in the Cotton Bowl in 1990. Garza is also a member of the Texas High School Hall of Fame after his stellar prep career at Refugio High School.
2019, Wyoming, Safeties
2019, Texas A&M Commerce, Defensive Secondary
2018, Dixie State, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Secondary
2017, Dixie State, Defensive Secondary
2016, Lamar, Cornerbacks Coach
2015, Prairie View A&M, Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator
2013-14, Pearl River C.C. (Miss.), Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Secondary
2010, USC, Defensive Secondary
2009, Tennessee, Defensive Secondary
2006-08, North Dakota State, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Secondary
2005, North Dakota State, Defensive Secondary
2004, Tarleton State, Defensive Secondary
2001-03, TCU, Cornerbacks
1997-2000, Western Michigan, Defensive Secondary
1994-96, Texas, Graduate Assistant Coach