TYLER - In early December, Danny Palmer stepped down at the TJC football head coach. The school received applications from all over the country to follow in Coach Palmer's footsteps. But at the end of the day, his replacement was already on campus.

On Friday, the school introduced Thomas Rocco as their 9th head coach in TJC history.

Rocco has spent the last 2 years as the Apaches defensive coordinator. Before that, he spent time at West Texas A&M, Blinn, and a couple other schools in the region.

Coach Rocco says it's an honor to be chosen to replace Coach Palmer and that he'll do everything he can to keep this team going in the right direction..

"We're going to take away everything we can that Coach Palmer taught us and take this program forward and make him proud," Coach Rocco said.

One of his biggest challenges will be recruiting in the area, especially with the success that TVCC and Kilgore have had in recent years. But he's up for the challenge.

Coach Rocco adds, "We're going to battle with those guys in recruiting, there's no doubt about it, and every team in this conference, it's no secret, every team is talented, every team is well coached and well prepared, I mean if we're going to go out there and win them all then we gotta coach our guys up, we gotta get the good football players here and take care of those guys when we got them."