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Garza talks to NM: NDSU assistant interviews for job

North Dakota State may be on the verge of losing an assistant football coach. Defensive coordinator Willie Mack Garza said Friday he has interviewed for a defensive position with the University of New Mexico.

North Dakota State may be on the verge of losing an assistant football coach. Defensive coordinator Willie Mack Garza said Friday he has interviewed for a defensive position with the University of New Mexico.

New Mexico recently hired University of Illinois assistant Mike Locksley as head coach. He has been assembling his staff for the last two weeks.

"Nothing solid yet," Garza said, although Bison head coach Craig Bohl was a little more optimistic of Garza getting the job.

"Things look very positive," Bohl said.

New Mexico is a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision program that plays in the Mountain West Conference. Garza just completed his fourth season with the Division I Football Championship Subdivision Bison.

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He was named the defensive backs coach in 2005 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2006 when Casey Bradley accepted a coaching position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Garza previously coached at Tarleton State (Texas), Texas Christian and Western Michigan. TCU is also a member of the Mountain West.

Locksley reportedly will name his entire staff sometime after Christmas, according to the Albuquerque Journal newspaper.

"There is interest in both ends," Garza said.

Asked if he's been offered the job, Garza said, "Nope. I'm still a Bison through and through."

The Lobos finished 4-8 last year and 2-6 in the league, which tied them for sixth place in the nine-member conference. Head coach Ricky Long resigned after 11 years with the school.

NDSU has annually lost coaches to higher division programs, something that Bohl uses to attract quality assistants. Last year, receivers coach Reggie Moore took a similar position at UCLA.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546.

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Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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