Saturday, January 17, 2009
Updated: January 23, 6:41 PM ET
Texas suspends Garrido
AUSTIN, Texas -- Suspended Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido gave an emotional apology Friday for his drunken driving arrest, and said he will not be in the dugout for the Longhorns' first four games.
Garrido's 1,629 wins are the most in Division I history. He has won five national championships, three with Cal-State Fullerton and two with Texas (2002 and 2005).
Garrido will be allowed to participate in team practices and will be paid during his suspension.
Garrido was arrested in the early morning hours last Saturday near Austin's downtown entertainment district.
"I made a serious mistake," Garrido said at a news conference with Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds. "I drank alcohol, I got behind the wheel of a car, and that's a bad decision."
Garrido did not take questions because his legal case is still pending, but also apologized to any families who have had someone killed or injured by a drunk driver.
"I'm really glad that's not a part of what we're talking about here today," Garrido said.
The Longhorns' season begins Feb. 20. Garrido was suspended the day he was arrested and will miss a four-game homestand against Illinois-Chicago. His first game in the dugout will be Feb. 24 against UT-Arlington.
Dodds said it was a "tough week" for the Texas program and a "devastating week" for Garrido, but said he stands by the coach.
"I hired Coach 13 years ago. We've been through a couple years that were pretty tough there at the beginning and I stood by him. I stood by him when we were winning Big 12 championships and NCAA championships, and I stand by him today," Dodds said.
"This department is family. We all love Coach Garrido. He's done so much for so many. He's a leader. He's mentor of young people," Dodds said.
The 69-year-old Garrido said he often talks to his players about overcoming adversity to become better players and people.
"It's my turn to grow through crisis and adversity and show that you can be a better person, a better coach, a better mentor and a better representative of the university as a result," he said.
"I sincerely apologize. It's heartfelt, it's honest. One of the great privileges I have is that the university is going to give me the chance to prove that," Garrido said. "I won't disappoint. I won't."