Former MSU Wrestling Coach Crashes SUV into Airport Terminal

By: Lori Dougovito
By: Lori Dougovito

No one was injured, but former Michigan State University wrestling coach Alex Vila could be in a lot of legal trouble after driving his Lincoln Navigator into an airport terminal. It happened Sunday morning in Florida at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Police say they don't know why the 33-year-old Williamston man did. He's being held in police custody for mental evaluations.

Originally from Cuba, Vila came home with a bronze medal eight years ago from the summer Olympics in Atlanta. After winning the gold at the 1997 Pan-American Games, he never returned to Cuba, leaving behind a wife and child. He moved to Michigan in 2000 to become a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at MSU. A spokesperson for the Sports Information Department says he stayed approximately one year and was never paid a salary. Instead, Vila collected money from coaching at summer wrestling camps.

Vila is scheduled to instruct two wrestling camps at MSU starting next week. For now, he's still in police custody in Florida, and police say they don't know how long he'll be there. Charges are pending until an investigation is complete.


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