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Montana State coach Brent Vigen addresses staff changes, injury updates and transfer portal

North Dakota State at Montana State
Posted at 5:34 PM, Dec 18, 2023

BOZEMAN — For the first time since Montana State's football season ended in a second-round overtime playoff loss to North Dakota State, Bobcats coach Brent Vigen addressed the media.

Linebackers and assistant head coach Bobby Daly was promoted to defensive coordinator, with defensive line coach Shawn Howe being promoted to co-defensive coordinator.

MSU will not renew Willie Mack Garza’s contract after two seasons as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

"I'm not renewing coach Garza, like I said, that was a very hard decision for me to make," Vigen said. "And it also was a relatively easy elevate both Bobby and Shawn in their new roles. Ultimately, one guy will call the defensive plays on a Saturday, and that will be Bobby."

In addition to the changes to the coaching staff, Vigen also addressed the injury news from the NDSU game, which included quarterback Tommy Mellott going down with a leg injury in the fourth quarter.

"Tommy is, he’s going to be alright," Vigen said. "His injury would’ve kept him out any season we would’ve had left. But, it was nonsurgical, and I do trust that he will be back at it here in January in about a month."

Against the Bison, quarterback Sean Chambers took all the QB snaps after Mellott left the game. Vigen said Chambers was also battling an injury sustained earlier in the season.

"Sean came into that game with an existing injury that he was able to play through to some degree but not what we had come accustomed to seeing with his ability to run," Vigen said.

Running back Julius Davis was also injured for the NDSU game, dressing but not playing against the Bison.

"His health once we get to January will be fine," Vigen said of Davis.

After their season ended with the loss to NDSU, the Bobcats saw a handful of players enter the transfer portal when it opened the week of Dec. 4. Both starting offensive guards, Omar Agbedion and Rush Reimer, along with defensive tackle Sebastian Valdez were among those players.

Valdez committed to the Pac-12 champions and College Football Playoff No. 2-seeded Washington Huskies on Monday. Washington will join the Big 10 next season.

Rush Reimer committed to University of California, Berkeley on Monday. Another Pac-12 school; they will exit for the ACC next season.

"That’s the nature of college football right now," Vigen said. "What we got to do is give them the best experience we can while they’re here, support them the best we can, and if guys do choose to move on, we ultimately have to at the same time."

Vigen will next address the media on Wednesday following signing day.