USC secondary coach resigns

USC secondary coach Willie Mack Garza has resigned, citing personal issues, the school announced Thursday.

“I stepped down today from my coaching duties at USC,” Garza said in a statement. “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 was not at USC’s mid-morning practice earlier Thursday, while it is in the midst of final preparations for Saturday’s season opener against Minnesota.

Serving as the defensive backs coach at Tennessee during the 2009 season, Garza arrived at USC along with coach Lane Kiffin, who accepted the position in January 2010.

Former USC safety Sammy Knight, who played in the NFL for 12 seasons and has been on staff as graduate assistant, is expected to replace Garza on an interim basis.